A splinter teachers’ union, All Teachers Alliance Ghana, is asking the government to borrow money to pay all outstanding salary arrears of teachers in the country.
“We are telling the government that the negotiations are enough and do not merit fairness as well, he should check the data in place and quickly pay all outstanding arrears even if he has to borrow to do so,” President of ATAG, Isaac Ofori said.
According to Mr. Ofori, tachers who were “employed legitimately” by the government through the Ghana Education Service between 2012 and 2016 were only paid three months’ salary arrears and the rest have since been left outstanding.
“Though some payments had been made since 2015, it is yet to cover every victim. This treatment is sheer wickedness against the profession,” he said at a news conference in Kumasi.
Members of the union have thus threatened to stage a demonstration in Accra Thursday to protest against the government for owing them monies they have legitimately worked for.
Mr. Ofori expressed worry over what he described as as unfair and disrespectful treatment meted out to grassroots teachers by successive governments.
He said things are not done right when it comes to issues affecting teachers, claiming “We are treated with a lot of unfairness, disdain and disrespect.
He said teachers want government to give the teaching profession a facelift by focusing on raising the standard of living of teachers through additional reforms that will better their conditions of service.
“The marginal treatment of teachers in this our country is becoming too much and it is time we bear our teeth to the government,” Mr Ofori, pointed out, adding “There are issues that clearly depict the betrayal of trust by government and continue to deepen the apathy and lack of commitment of teachers”.
Mr. Ofori claimed “the fallen standard of education” in the country is partly attributed to some of how teachers are treated and claimed “government and our employers had deliberately turned blind eyes and death ears to them” he noted.
Meanwhile, ATAG said the single spine salary structure has not favoured teachers in the country.
“The single spine salary structure did not favour teachers because our retention premium is poor as compared to other professions and we have been deliberately been left out of the category 2 and 3 allowances captured under the structure”.
According to ATAG, the deduction of GHc 10 from teachers’ salary for an insurance policy without engaging them depicts disrespect.
ATAG believes the deduction is another way of draining teachers of their meager salary.
“The suspension of the policy and asking teachers to opt out or in if they want is neither here or there. It should be taken out completely. Though the idea is good, we want the insurance policy to be in cooperated in our conditions of service for us to benefit without any form of deduction,” Mr. Ofori said.
The group has threatened to advise themselves if the government fails to address their concerns.
“The scale has fallen from our eyes and we will not kowtow to any form of threat and coddles until the government head to our plea. If the government refuses to attend to our concerns, we will advise ourselves as teachers going forward.
“We will stage a historical uprising in the teaching profession, by inviting teachers to rise up to stand for their rights and freedom, to seek for proper dignity to be accorded us instead of paying us lip service and flattery” he warned.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana