The academic calendar of public colleges of education in Ghana is likely to be disrupted as teachers in the sector have failed to call off a two-week strike. The Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) is demanding payment of salary arrears which has been outstanding since October 2016, following their migration unto the Colleges of Education payroll.
The National Labour Commission on October 4, 2017 directed the Ministry of Finance to liaise with the Ministry of Education to make effort to pay the arrears within two weeks. But this was not heeded to, prompting CETAG to withdraw services effective Thursday, November 2, 2017.
The action has adversely affected academic activities on campuses of the colleges of education across the country. The Ministry of Finance, after meeting with CETAG leadership on November 7, drew a roadmap to pave way for the two parties to agree on the payment modalities, including a validation exercise of CETAG members to be completed by end of November.
A document signed by Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, called on the leadership of CETAG “to call off their strike with immediate effect to enable academic work resume on all campuses of the Colleges of Education whiles negotiations continue to bring the issues to a close”.
But the teachers are not satisfied with the roadmap. National Secretary of CETAG, Prince Obeng Himah, says the government has not demonstrated enough commitment to effect the payment. “Just give us a written commitment spelling out in clear, explicit and without any ambiguity, time or period that you think you can pay us, then we can hold that thing, show it to the whole world that we’re going to be paid around this time,” he told 3news.com
Mr. Obeng Himah acknowledges the impact of the strike on academic work but says the action is the last option to get their grievances addressed. “We know this semester is usually very challenging looking at the work load…we are extremely worried about it. It’s unfortunate. We love the students and the students know that what we’re talking about is legitimate,” he said. Thirty-eight public Colleges of Education are affected by the CETAG’s industrial action.