Teachers Angered By GNAT’s Increased Mutual Fund Deductions

Some basic school teachers in the Ho municipality of the Volta region are angry with managers of the Teachers Fund for increasing their monthly contributions to the fund without consulting them.

The fund, run by the Ghana National Union of Teachers (GNAT), last week sent an SMS to members informing them of an increase in their minimum monthly contribution of Ghc30 to Ghc50, effective February ending.

A text sent to a member’s cell phone on February 20, 2017, reads, “Please be informed that basic contribution to the Teachers Fund will be GHS 50.00 effective February 2017 as decided by the National Council of GNAT. Thank you”

This however did go down well with some of the teachers in Ho, who told Starr News; they are already overburdened with so many deductions from their salaries.

“How can you increase our contributions, without giving us enough notice to plan? You send a one week message to us and the following week, deduction has taken effect. Worst is that, when we contacted the local GNAT secretary, he couldn’t give us any explanation than to say, it was a national council decision,” one of them told Starr News.

He added: “There are a whole lot of dues that we’re paying, GNAT dues, mutual fund and I don’t even know how all those monies are being used. There is so much going on that, we seriously need to conduct an investigation into the activities of GNAT.”

The Teachers’ Fund established in 1998 with the objective to supplement the pension of members, but according to some of the teachers is not being beneficial to them, as they are charged high interest on loans, compared to commercial banks.

“The only thing is, they take our money and trade with it, and we don’t even get interest. If you go to take loan from them, trust me, their interest rate is higher than the commercial banks. I am contributing to a fund and when I take loan, the interest is killing us,” another teacher claimed.