W/R: NAGRAT leader hints at facing gov’t spokespersons boot-for-boot

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Western Region Chairman of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) Justin Nelson says the Association is ready to meet government officials who will decide to throw tantrums at their COLA request boot-for-boot if they will not consider more civil ways of engagement.

He wonders why government officials and other state workers will gladly accept pay increases “some as high as 80 percent in the so called difficult times and will want to pooh pooh our 20 percent demand, don’t we also desire what we are rightly due?”

“When they were given 79 percent salary increment, parliamentarians 80 percent salary increment, deputy ministers 65 percent salary increment, how much were we given? It was 7 percent. We accepted it and did not quarrel. So why is the Deputy Minister of Employment suggesting that we are ungrateful. If he wants to throw tantrums, we are going to match him boot-for-boot,” he cautioned

Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Bright Wereko-Brobbey at a meeting entreated the striking teacher unions to reason with government as they were paid nine months for no work done during Covid-19.

But Mr. Nelson described the comments by Mr. Wereko-Brobbey as a palpable lie and insisted that teachers have sacrificed enough for them to enjoy more than the 20 percent COLA they are currently demanding.

“During the lockdown, we closed down on March 23 or so. And after that time, June 15 all the SHS teachers resumed full academic work. Then July thereabout the JHS teachers were in school teaching. It was only a fraction of teachers who were in the house…”

He asserted that teachers are already making up for the lost time during Covid-19 and wants government spokespersons not to use the Covid-19 to whip unwarranted public anger against teachers.

“Hitherto, the primary was closing at 1:30pm and the JHS at 2:30pm. Now, they close at 3:30pm and 4:30pm depending on when classes started. So, you can clearly see that already we are making time for the loss period.”

Mr. Nelson was doubtful that the striking teacher unions will change their stance, at Wednesday’s meeting, if government will not grant their 20 percent COLA demand.

By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana

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