Pressure on us to declare strike – GNAT

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Leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has revealed that members of the Association are mounting pressure on them to declare strike over their poor conditions of service.

In an interview with Alfred Ocansey on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show, the Chairman of the Madina Adenta Abokobi GNAT District, Christian Yaw Adinkra indicated that as the leaders of organised labour, they have been doing their best to calm their members down but it seems they have ran out of patience.

“Look, as union leaders, our aggrieved members are mounting pressure on us to declare strike. We have done our best to calm them down but I am afraid it will get to a point that we will have no other choice than to embark on a strike,” Adinkra stated

He explained that GNAT’s demand for at least 20% Cost of Living Allowance is justified, considering the rate of inflation in Ghana which stands at about 27.6% as of June 2022. “Things are getting more expensive day by day. Food has become expensive, transport fares have gone up, everything has shot up except the salaries of teachers. Seriously, teachers in Ghana are stressed and frustrated”.     

The Secretary-General of Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah during the presentation of his May Day speech appealed to President Akuffo-Addo to pay government workers a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) of 20% to help cushion them against the impact of inflation which stood at 19.4 % as at April.

“In July 2021 when we were negotiating on minimum wage, inflation was just 9% but now inflation has increased to 19.4%. Between March 2021 and March 2022 food prices have increased by 24% on the average. For example, water has increased by 27%, price of cereals and cereal products has increased by 25%, price of meet increased by 20.2%, fish and other sea food increased by 23.7%, price of oils increased by 28.2%, price of fruits increased by 22% and the price of vegetables increased by 23.8%”  

“Consequently, many workers and their families have fallen into poverty. If nothing is done about this situation, many workers and their families will suffer severe poverty in the coming months. This is the time that we think that salaries for private and public sectors must be indexed to inflation in order to avoid worsening living standards among workers and their families” Dr. Baah iterated in his speech

GNAT has given the government until the end of June this year to grant the 20 per cent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) or risk the anger of over 240,000 teachers nationwide.

According to GNAT the current delay continues to affect the meagre earnings of workers. This has affected the basic necessities of life, the General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah Tanko has said.

By Samuel Afriyie Owusu||Ghana

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