National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has resolved to embark on its strike action despite threats by the National Labor Commission to institute legal action against it.
Executive member of the Association, Mr. Kwame Hevu, who made this known stated that the Association shall defy the call by the National Labor Commission to come and have formal negotiations on the basis that such deliberations have almost always resulted in fruitless lip service.
Mr. Kwame Hevu also expressed failure in the National Labor Commission to help find a conclusion to the matter and underscored that the commission should have taken earlier action to guarantee the rights of the teachers and push the government to fulfill its financial obligations to them.
“We have met the institutions several times, and these meetings have almost always been futile. We have declared a strike action and we’re going to stand by it. The National Labour Commission waits for matters to escalate before they come in with the intention of resolving matters.
In any case, they have to be sued for failing to enforce its authority and cause the Government not to give unto the teachers what is due them.”
On the other hand, Executive Secretary of the NLC, Ofosu Asamoah, has described NAGRAT’s strike as illegal and has threatened that if the leadership of the Association fails to honor the invitation for deliberations, they could be charged for contempt.
He also argued that the Association failed to follow due procedures before declaring the strike.
“They are engaging in an illegal strike. Strikes cannot be strictly outlawed. There can be a lawful strike and an illegal one. Parties to labour disputes can engage in strike but there are ways and means that they are expected to take to make it lawful but they didn’t comply with that.
They had to give us notice and breakdown of the dispute but none of these was brought before the Commission.
They will be ordered to go the classroom and do the work and take the proper steps if they want to declare a strike. If they fail to do that, they will be cited for contempt in court.
National Labor Commission (NLC) last week ordered the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), to appear before it on Wednesday, 11th September to deliberate on their concerns and find a resolution to the issues that have triggered their strike action.
Education Ministry calls on NAGRAT to Exercise Restraint
The Ministry of Education has called on NAGRAT to exercise restraint on its strike action and re-engage with the government to find solutions to its problems.
Although Ekow Vincent Asafoa, Head of Public Affairs at the Ministry admitted that the claims by NAGRAT are reasonable, he said government and the Education Ministry would want to discuss and engage them further to put an end to this strike.
“It is because of the slow transition of the newly introduced Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) system which was introduced by the Public Services Commission, so we urge the teachers to exercise more patience.
Payment is now going to be divided into two so that the Controller and Accountant General will be able to deal with payroll matters in a genuine manner. So, it is for the betterment of the system, the education service and the teachers as well,” he added.
Story by: Harriet Ama Mansa Bio|universnewsroom.com