June 24, 2019

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CETAG, Gov’t agree on roadmap to address unpaid allowances

CETAG, Gov’t agree on roadmap to address unpaid allowances File photo

The College of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) and government have agreed on a roadmap to resolve the grievances of the teacher association.

Last year, members of CETAG embarked on a one-month strike that led to the closure of Colleges of Education, due to the non-payment of their Interim Market Premium and Book and Research allowance.

Speaking to Citi News on the latest roadmap, the National Secretary for CETAG, Nathan Ohene-Gyan said their members will not countenance any disappointment on the part of government.

He said, per the roadmap, the government has agreed to pay the book and research allowance in September 2019 while an agreed market premium with arrears will be paid between January and April 2020.

“We initially tabled some form of arrangement but government came in and said they were a bit challenged to go by what we were suggesting. We agreed on a few parameters although we are not completely happy about it, but, it is something we can hold on for the meantime as we move on.”

“On paper, we have an agreement over the book and research allowance we are paid at the end of every month so we are expecting to be sorted on that score. Measuring the temperament of our members on the ground, they are not even happy about this arrangement,” he added.

Early this year, CETAG met with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, and other relevant stakeholders for deliberations on outstanding issues.

It followed letters from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, informing them that the National Council for Tertiary Education [NCTE], and the Fair Wages Salary Commission was to decide their concerns.

This was also after a directive by the National Labour Commission to resolve pending issues within a fourteen-day period which elapsed on 2nd January  2019.


Background

The Association in December 2018,  accused government of breaching the terms of agreement it had with them on the payment of interim premium and book and research allowances.

The NCTE argued that CETAG did not have the right to declare a strike when negotiations were ongoing.

CETAG was also accused of being unreasonable and failing to show up for negotiations on the matter.

CETAG subsequently threatened to go to court to push for the closure of the colleges for the rest of the semester in line with the law governing the colleges, which states that colleges must be closed down and the semester annulled if academic work halts for more than three weeks.

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