The Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, has kicked against the plan by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to deduct 10% of teachers’ basic salaries for the occupation of public bungalows.
The GES notified teachers of plans to effect the deduction from March 2022.
The GES had explained in a letter that the said 10% deduction forms part of government’s efforts to streamline the anomalies with regard to the payment of rent for occupying schools or government bungalows.
However, in a press release, GNAT described the government’s decision as unfortunate.
According to the teacher union, the directive is against the spirit and letter of the Collective Agreement enacted between the Ghana Education Service and teacher unions in August 2020.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to remind the Ghana Education Service of
Section 21(i) of the Collective Agreement, 2009 which deals with Staff Accommnodation and states, without equivocation, that Headmasters, Assistant Headmasters, Senior Housemasters, Housemasters, Principals, Vice Principals, Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Frontline ADs and Guidance and Counselling Officers in 2nd Cycle institutions shall be provided with free residential accommodation (emphasised), and that, where there is no residential accommodation, the Service shall be responsible for the rents of the officer(s) concerned.”
“The same shall apply to Directors at the District, Regional/Divisional levels.”
GNAT also drew the attention of the Ghana Education Service to Section 19 of the Collective Agreement, August 2020, “which deals with Staff Accommodation and states, again without equivocation, that accomodation may be provided (for) the following category of staff: Headmasters, Assistant Headmasters, Senior Housemasters, Housemasters, Principals, Vice Principals, Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Frontline Deputy Directors and Guidance and Counselling Officers and Chaplains and Imams in Second Cycle Institutions.”
The teacher union further asked if the directive is a deliberate, calculated attempt by the Ghana Education Service to renege on stipulations in the Collective Agreement.
This, according to GNAT, will be a breach of union trust, and an unfair labour decision or practice.
“We are even more appalled with the Western Regional Director’s directive to, and by implication, the Regional Internal Auditor(s) and the Regional Accountant(s), to ensure all arrears owed are collected to avoid audit issues.”
It warned that any attempt to implement the directive will be fiercely resisted.
“The industrial peace we are enjoying on the educational front could be jeopardized.”
“We are therefore by this writeup demanding that the Ghana Education Service withdraws this action/move, to ensure serene and conducive teaching and learning in the schools, for the collective benefit of all. Anything short of this, could be risky, and we may not be able to contain it.”