Prez flying expensive jet, funding cathedral with unapproved money make it difficult for teachers to trust govt – Apaak

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Builsa South Member of Parliament Dr Clement Apaak has said that the teacher unions and other labour bodies are finding it difficult to accept the inability of government to meet their demand because they see the president and government officials engaged in profligacy.

He said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 9 that the teachers see the unapproved funds being released for the national cathedral project as well as the president flying expensive jets for his his trips outside. Therefore, they cannot accept that the government has no money to meet their demand to pay the 20 per cent cost of living allowance.

“This is an issue of trust,” he said. He added ‘they hear unapproved money being released for pledged cathedral, they see the president travelling hired jet.

“So it is difficult for you to then expect the teachers to accept the the state is unable to meet their conditions.”

On Monday, 4th July 2022, the four (4) Unions in Education, namely Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), TEWU and Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana, withdrew their services in all the Pre-Tertiary educational space, to back their demand for the Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA).

This involved both Teaching and Non-Teaching staff.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta assured that the government will act to avoid disruptions in schools following the strike by the teachers.

He acknowledged that the government has a lot of work to do given that the cost of living has gone up globally which is affecting all workers including teachers.

Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Daniel Opoku after a meeting with the striking teacher unions and other labour unions, in Accra on Friday July 8,the Finance Minister said “we believe that the cost of living has gone up globally and therefore, we should find a forum in which we all will discuss it so that we can have the common language and move forward in peace.

“There is a lot of work to be done but I think it can only be done properly in an environment in which we all understand each other and make sure that we don’t have agitations that will disrupt the very difficult journey that going ahead.

“We are looking forward to further engagements to avoid disruptions of the lives of our people, for example the students right now who by August should be taking exams, we will like to avoid all of these issues. “

He said when asked whether government will grant the 20 per cent demand that “We have called for the meeting, they are drafting the communique as to when we will all meet. All of us will consider the financial implications.”

Asked again whether the government has considered the financial implications especially when the country is before the IMF? he said “I am the Finance Minister and I am here, so obviously, we will consider all of that. I think all of us will consider the financial implications as a body, I think that the main issue is trust and an appreciation that government empathy is there, things are globally difficult.

“I think it is the highest inflation in 40 years in the US, UK, and EU and for us too, it is about the past 18 years thus may be the highest. so obviously as a people we need to confront that going forward.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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