Teacher unions protest mass transfers in W/R

Major teacher unions in the Western Region, made up of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-Ghana), have raised issues with the massive transfers of teachers in the region especially in the Nzema East District.

They lament that out of the 16 regions in the country, it is only in the Western Region that this is happening.

At a media briefing at the GNAT Hall in Takoradi on Monday, January 30, executives of the three unions cited aspects of their Collective Bargaining Agreement to buttress why the postings should be postponed.

According to them, much as it is the prerogative of the regional education director, Felicia Adjeibea Okai, to take such decisions, it must be done in a humane way.

“The Collective Agreement for Teaching Staff within Ghana Education Service (GES) section 10.1 stipulates that ‘Employees may be assigned duties anywhere in Ghana as the exigencies of the service may demand’ and for that matter Teachers are not against Reposting/Transfers.

“… not to take away the Director’s exercise of her power of discretion, but to appeal to her to consider the times we find ourselves in, so that any decision taken to affect teachers do not negatively impact on their social and economic lives.”

They fear if this goes ahead, those affected will be worse off.

“Many of our members have taken years to land good accommodations for themselves. Some have paid rent advance to cover a year or two. Others have just renewed their rent payments,” the executives said.

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Transfer Grant of 3 Months Basic Salary

The teachers are also unhappy that those being transferred are being denied their transfer grants.

“Pursuant to the Collective Agreement for teaching staff within the Ghana Education Service (GES), Section 15.10 on Transfer Grant; A Transfer Grant of three (3) Months Basic Salary shall be paid to each member on approved transfer. An employee shall be paid a transfer grant at the approved rate where the transfer is at the instance of Management, provided it is not on disciplinary grounds and the transfer results in the change of station as well as movement of household effects.”

They, therefore, do not understand why this is being denied them.

One other concern is what they describe as Discriminatory Reposting/Transfers of Teachers.

They say some teachers who have spent 15 years and above in some of the schools are still at post whilst others have been put on transfer.

It, therefore, seems to be an attack on senior teachers such as Heads of Departments, Directors of Studies, Senior House Masters and House masters who are now affected by the transfer which has culminated in reducing them to ordinary teachers in their new schools.

“This can be seen as a demotion meanwhile, they have not appeared before any disciplinary committee sitting,” the teacher unions noted.

“Teachers have already put their wards in schools and paid various school fees which are non-refundable. Some have even renewed their rent which are not refundable. To transfer the teacher to another school in another town within three weeks of an academic year, the teacher now has to choose between commuting on high transportation fares or moving into a new apartment closer to his/her new school.”

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They have, therefore, pleaded with the regional directorate to add a human face to the process.

“We call on the Regional Directorate to add human face to this activity. Teachers who are staying in bungalows need to be informed of the transfer for at least a year to enable them to prepare mentally and psychologically before they can move.

“We call on the Regional Director of Education to immediately put on hold the mass reposting/transfer of teachers. We are by this press conference calling on all stakeholders to engage the Regional Education Directorate to avert an escalation of the problem.”

They have also called on their national union officers and other stakeholders to intervene.

Meanwhile, the Western Regional Education Director, Felicia Adjeibea Okai, says the decision is geared towards improving learning outcomes.

“It is something we are trying to do to improve learning outcomes.

“With the issue of not informing them about the transfer, that is why we give them three months grace period.”

The unions were represented at the press conference by William Boadu Abedi, the GNAT Secretary, Justin Allswell Nelson, NAGRAT chairman and Daniel T. Agbo of CCT- Ghana.

By Ewurama Smith|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana


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