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Members of NAGRAT put strike action on hold
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The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has suspended its intended strike action to wait for the outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between NAGRAT and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to resolve its concerns.

However, it warned that, "Should GES fail to abide by the MoU as happened in the past NAGRAT shall have no option but to embark on the strike action without notice".

Mr Kwami Alorvi, President of NAGRAT, who announced this at a press conference in Accra on Monday appealed to members to continue with their normal work as scheduled.

The MoU signed on Wednesday, November 25, this year, between the GES and NAGRAT was initiated by Mr Alex Tetteh-Enyo, Minister of Education following reports that the Association intended to embark on a strike action from Monday, November 30, this year.

Under the MoU, GES is to commence interviews on all outstanding promotion for teachers from the December 14, this year, pay all outstanding car maintenance and responsibility allowances by the end of January 2010 and making invigilation and supervision of examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) optional.

Mr Alorvi said contrary to public perception, there was no dispute between the GES and NAGRAT on those issues but the delay in their implementation had been the concern of members.

He said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) had approved a monthly vehicle maintenance allowance of GHc40 for some public sector workers including teachers but some teachers had had theirs reduced to seven Ghana cedis since January this year, making the state to owe them GHc33 each for the past 11 months.

Mr Alorvi said the 1998 approved monthly responsibility allowances paid to duty post teachers was one Ghana cedi for a Housemaster, GH˘1.50 for a Senior Housemaster, two Ghana cedis for an Assistant Headmaster and between three and five Ghana cedis for a Headmaster or Principal adding: "this is ridiculous in view of the current economic conditions".

He said outstanding promotion interviews for teachers had also stalled because of the reduction in the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Education by MoFEP, a situation that was unfair to the welfare of teachers.

"What must be clear to all and sundry is that promotions of teachers are closely linked with their salaries and retirement benefits. To deny us our deserved promotions, reduce our responsibility and car maintenance allowances amidst increase in school enrolments, large class sizes and escalating fuel prices, and compel us to invigilate examinations at ridiculously low allowances are burdens too heavy for us to carry," Mr Alorvi stressed.

He expressed concern about issues with the National Labour Commission (NLC) for its handling of concerns of teachers saying "the NLC has become a sour source of labour disputes in the country".
Source: GNA

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