Public school teachers in Upper East Region to embark on street demonstration

Teachers on a street demonstration. Photo credit: 3News.

Teacher unions in the Upper East region are readying themselves to stage a street demonstration in a renewed demand for some allowances due them from the government.

A large number of public school teachers from the familiar three unions— Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) — are expected to take part in the demonstration.

GNAT’s Upper East Regional Secretary, Lare Kitonname, told Media Without Borders the unions resolved upon taking their grievances to the streets following government’s failure to meet the unions’ demands within a one-week ultimatum issued last week.

“The demonstration started in the Ashanti region on Monday (yesterday). I think the Eastern region will have theirs tomorrow (Wednesday). When it’s our turn, we will also do it,” he stated on Tuesday (today), adding that a date for the region’s demonstration had not been scheduled.

A file photo: A demonstration involving teachers in Ghana.

The unions had told journalists at a news conference on Monday, 6 May 2024, that the government promised to implement some allowances contained in a “Collective Agreement” signed in 2009 and 2020 but had failed to deliver on its promises.

“Distinguish ladies and gentlemen, currently our Collective Agreement (CA) has expired since August 2023 and all efforts to get the employer on the negotiating table to agree on the new CA have proved futile. We have been contemplating on 17 types of allowances. However, due to several considerations we have reduced them to four,” the unions said.

They cited the four allowances at the news conference as “the Extra Assessment Allowance, the Book/Data/Online Teaching Support Allowance, and the Upward Adjustment of the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Allowance”.

A file photo: Teachers on a demonstration for better conditions of service.

“Despite this gesture of good faith from the Unions, the government is still adamant and has demonstrated bad faith.  This has oftentimes culminated in high level despondency and disaffection for leadership. We have had to hang on the thin line, with our members complaining bitterly.

“These complaints have become worse, especially as our members are reeling under the utter hardship imposed on us all by the current economic conditions in the country. We wish to emphasize that the last 24 months have been the most tortuous for the Ghanaian Teacher, with no ray of hope of relief initiated by the Employer,” they added.

On May 3, this year, teacher unions in the Volta region held a demonstration in relation to the unpaid allowances and presented a petition to the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa.

A class in session at a basic school in Ghana.

Basic and senior high schools were without teachers after the teacher unions launched a strike action on Wednesday, 20 March 2024, in connection with the allowances and a demand for some other better conditions of service.

The unions called off the strike on Tuesday, 2 April 2024, after the National Labour Commission (NLC) secured an interlocutory injunction at a high court in Accra against the action. Subsequent negotiations did not yield the expected results, prompting last week’s press conference in the Upper East region and the ongoing nationwide demonstrations.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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