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08 February 2017

Don’t forget your promises to us – Teachers tell Akufo–Addo

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Teachers are calling on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration not to forget the numerous promises it made to them in the run-up to the 2016 elections and work towards fulfilling all without failure.

With a new education minister sworn into office, the Ghana Teachers for Progressive Alliance (GTPA) in a statement reminded government of its promises to restore teacher training allowance.

They also reminded of the promise to pay in full the salary of teachers who were victims of the 3-month pay policy to check ghost names, improve the quality of life for teachers, among others.

Below is the full statement from the group.

We the Ghana Teachers for Progressive Alliance would like to welcome H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo to the high office of the President of the Republic of Ghana and to as it raised some pertinent issues about teachers’ recruitment and general welfare as of the time he has taken over reign of power from H.E John Dramani Mahama.

Mr. President, the outgone Prof. Mills / John Dramani Mahama led NDC government has over the last eight years recruited about 79720 trained teachers from the Colleges of Education into GES, an approximation of 9000 teachers every year from the 38 Public Colleges of Education since 2008 to 2015 and recently in 2016, have posted 16720 teachers from both Government and absorbed Private Colleges of Education specifically due to the substitution of trainee allowances with the students’ loans coupled with three square meals a day for the whole semester which has increased students enrolment to about 60% in the 2013 academic year and still appreciating.

Your Excellency is reminded that the 16720 figure above is only from the Colleges of Education where the controversy of restoring the allowance has been one of the pillars upon which you were catapulted
to the high office of the President.

Mr President, it is therefore expected that, in the next four years, at least 66880 if not more trained teachers from the colleges would be recruited and added to the list of teachers already employed and working with GES under the Ministry of Education by your government.
We shall follow this with keen interest.

Restoring the trainee’s allowance, Your Excellency, must not come with any conditions. The students must be fed three times a day and be given the allowance as promised by your outfit.

Secondly, Your Excellency, Salary arrears of innocent victims as a result of the 3-Month Pay Policy initiated to check ghost names are also being rectified and payment is on-going. This must not stop, Mr President. We will closely monitor this with all the resources available to us as a group.

It is our hope that the workers in this category will not suffer unduly due to a regime change more so because you have assumed the seat of governance. Nonetheless, the outgone NDC government came to implement policies such as Single Spine Salary Structure, Teachers’ professional allowance (now retention premium), Automatic incremental jump, Annual salary and minimum wage increase, among others that have helped in diverse ways to improve the living standards of teachers over the years. This is evident in the respectable purchasing powers of the Ghanaian teacher today.

Please, Mr President, we want to plead with you and your government not to scrap or tamper with the aforementioned that we have been enjoying as workers of this country but rather work hard to improve upon them because one of the basis of your victory is the promise that you will improve our conditions of work and standards of living.

In fact, any attempt to review or scrap off these policies as being suggested by some policy think tanks because per their research, the country’s economic volatilities is largely due to the single spine pay policy, would be met with serious resistance.  We refer to the An Akan adage which says, “s3 wannya hwee amma wase a, y3mm) no kr)noo!!…”

We are also reminding Your Excellency, Mr President that over the past eight years, salary payments have been very regular and prompt. There is a clear pattern of workers receiving CAGD notifications regarding disbursement of funds to the banks for salaries to be paid at least three clear days before the end of the month. We want to intimate you, Mr President that you have no option but to do better than your predecessor.

Alas, through the ingenuity of the JDM led administration, the Ghanaian government worker can now access their payslips through the internet. This has made it possible for the worker to see all deductions that have been made whether through fair or foul means. We urge you to continue to support this innovation and perhaps improve upon it.

Mr President, under the JDM, led government; there was an improvement on the quota of teachers that got the opportunity for further studies in the regular programmes in the various universities in terms of study leave with pay. We want to plead with you, Your Excellency to see this as a must for the improvement of teaching and learning in Ghana. We pray that this would be maintained if not improved upon.

Furthermore, Mr President, Teachers’ purchasing power has improved significantly over the years, thus, teachers’ lifestyle has positively changed and with careful management we are almost about rubbing shoulders with colleagues in other sectors but we still ask for more and will continue to ask for more, we want to plead with you to treat this as a very necessary measure that would continue.

Your Excellency is informed that your administration has no option than to listen to our plights. Anything less than this would be met with stiffer opposition from the working class in which we shall play a key role.

We want to have more teachers owning cars, plots of land, houses and other properties as this has been the case over the last eight years. We do not envisage your government sending us back to those times where it was so petty and shameful to be called a teacher.

Mr President, your predecessor, HIS Excellency John Dramani Mahama through Fair Wages and Salaries and the Finance Ministry have migrated tutors of the Colleges of Education onto the Colleges of Education Salary Structure under the Single Spine Pay Policy pending other allowances such as market premium and salary arrears from January 2016 to date. We are by this release asking your reputable office to expedite action on the remaining processes to ensure a smooth transition.

May we further remind you, Mr President, that, you have indeed inherited massive infrastructure in the Education sector even though there is still more to be done. We want to encourage you to as it continued to expand the existing infrastructure through completion of existing projects and addition of new ones. We will be monitoring this from far and near.

Your Excellency, your administration has also inherited a standardized and approved school fees. You campaigned to give us Free Education at the SHS and beyond. This position, Your Excellency is non-negotiable. We are interested in knowing which fraction of the fees you are going to take and how well these schools will be taken care off by way of teaching and learning materials and infrastructure. Ghanaians deserve better from your outfit based on your promises.

Maybe Mr President would care to know that the basic headache of parents regarding school fees include, feeding fees, stationeries and other charges charged by the Headmasters and Headmistresses on the authorization of various PTAs and SMCs. Those are our headache, Mr President! We looking forward to a total scrap of these components of the school fees, then your campaign promise on free education would have been achieved.

We wish you well, Mr President and like we said we shall be monitoring your governance from far and near.

Thank You.

 

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