The President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu, says President Akufo-Addo failed to highlight the government’s plans to ameliorate the suffering of organized labour during his State of the Nation address to Parliament.
According to him, although the president fulfilled his constitutional obligation of delivering the national address, the message fell short of announcing plans to tackle the high cost of living.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, he said the address did not reflect his personal reality, which includes his inability to purchase goods and services as a result of the high cost of living in the country.
“My reality now is the dire economic situation that is affecting me, and I am not able to buy goods and services, while my cedi has depreciated and life is becoming very difficult,” he said.
“I was expecting that the president, having recognized the fact that the economic situation is very dire and having serious consequences on the individual, will inform us, workers in the country, specifically teachers, that these are the strategies that have been put in place to ameliorate the challenges that are afflicting us,” he added.
While delivering the State of the Nation address on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo said his government is aware of the many economic challenges facing Ghanaians and is working to address them.
“I know that there is a general sense of anxiety in our nation at the moment. The Ghanaian people are anxious about the economy, cost of living, income levels, jobs for young people and issues that we all thought that we had achieved national consensus on… We are aware that we are in difficult times, and we are addressing the situation. The belt-tightening measures being set for members of the Executive have been elaborated within this context,” he said.
But according to Mr. Carbonu, the President should have considered the plight of organised labour, and made a definite pronouncement to the effect that it would engage organised labour to review their salaries to reflect the challenges of the economy.
“I was expecting an announcement that government is committed to negotiating with organized labour on salaries that will be coterminous with the economic situation that we find ourselves… I did not hear that, and I am disappointed in that aspect,” he said.