The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has unequivocally rejected the recent adjustment of salaries for public sector workers by the government which is pegged at four and seven per cent for 2021 and 2022 respectively.
The National President of the Association, Ms Philippa Larsen, speaking on Thursday during the opening ceremony of the sixth Quadrennial Eastern Regional delegates’ conference of GNAT, themed: GNAT@90 surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union in the 21st century – teaching the journey, explicating the essence and examining the prospects indicated that teachers are unhappy about the negotiations.
“That is not what we expected. The ongoing discussions on various social media platforms indicate clearly that workers are understandably unhappy with the outcome of the negotiations,” Ms Philippa Larsen said.
She continued that, “We are not happy either. We had to settle on the relatively low rates of increments reluctantly after intense negotiations spanning many weeks.”
She also opined in her speech that the leadership of the association were so sad that they could not inform members about the outcome of the negotiations with the committee.
“I am sad, all leaders are so sad and that is why we didn’t have the courage to disclose the initial outcome of the negotiations to you,” she said.
She expressed her displeasure about the unfair treatment of certain categories of the public sector about the current system of remuneration in the country.
She noted that the system only favours some categories of officeholders, saying, “And we are not going to agree. We will not agree to that”.
She called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to step as soon as possible, else, there would be no industrial harmony in the coming days, asserting, “Otherwise there will be no peace and the country will become ungovernable”.
“For industrial harmony in the country, the four and seven per cent, we are never happy,” she added.
She urged the president to initiate a process towards the establishment of a commission made up of experts from various fields to advise the government on salaries for all jobholders in the public service to guarantee fairness.
“After all we all go to the same market and there should be fairness in the salaries of all public sector workers,” she stressed.
Ms Larsen also urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) to continue to work on all outstanding issues of teachers such as promotions for industrial peace and harmony.
“We have a lot of unresolved issues and we called on the GES to factor in concerns of teachers, otherwise we will not agree and before the close of the week, they are going to hear from us,” she added.
GNAT is considered as the largest teachers union with more than 230,000 members countrywide.