Members of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) have called off the strike started last Wednesday to push government to pay their salary arrears.
The decision to end the strike followed fresh agreement reached at a meeting Monday afternoon between the teachers and the Ministry of Employment and Labour relations.
President of NAGRAT Angel Carbonu said the teachers are “satisfied” with the latest commitment by the government to ensure that all monies owed teachers, amounting to some GHC50 million, are paid.
Government in January 2018 agreed to begin paying the salary arrears, as well as transfer grants, transport and travel allowances and vehicle allowance by March 30, 2018 but failed to effect payment on the due date.
NAGRAT was forced in the circumstance, to declare strike on April 4, 2018.
But the government explained its inability to make the first payment was occasioned by the fact that March 30, which was Good Friday, was a statutory public holiday.
At a meeting on April 9 between the Minister of Employment, NAGRAT executives and some stakeholders, the government renewed its commitment to pay the arrears.
“Today, it has been confirmed that the payment has been effected,” the minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah revaled, and appealed to NAGRAT to call off the strike.
The Minister announced the parties have agreed that “this month, latest by 6th of May 10,000 of those who are still owed arrears will be paid”.
“We are satisfied with the fact that at the end of this month, `10,000 or more [teachers] will be processed…On this note, I call on all my members that the Association is suspending its industrial action for now and hope and pray that the commitment is sustained,” Mr. Carbonu said.
Per the directive, all NAGRAT members are expected to resume full classroom duties
Mr. Carbonu expressed optimism that the government will this time around follow through to the letter, the new agreement to ensure that “all teachers who are owed money are paid”.
He said after about 10,000 teachers have been validated for payment, NAGRAT will again hold a meeting with the Ministry to discuss payment schedule.
Meanwhile, Mr. Baffour Awuah said the government is committed to the wellbeing of Ghanaians including the various unions in the country.
“We will try as much as possible to do our best to make Ghanaian workers happy and to make sure they get that which is due them,” he assured.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana