The Ranking Member on Education in Parliament, Peter Nortsu Kotoe, has said the 20% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) demand from the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) is justified.

Speaking to Joshua Kodjo Mensah on Starr Today Tuesday, Mr. Nortsu indicated that the government has no excuse than to grant the request from the teachers.

“We cannot use covid as an excuse for the reckless manner in which the covid funds was spent. This is the outcome that you will have, if that money had been used judiciously, I think money would have been saved to take care of other workers’ needs.

“So we cannot use covid as excuse, we cannot use Russia-Ukraine war as an excuse, they need something to cushion them the hardship is biting everybody.All have not been well on the education front for some time, especially from the beginning of this year. Things are not going well,” the Ranking Member disclosed.

He continued: “The materials needed for teachers to work with are not available, especially text books for them to work with. With the current economic hardship everybody is facing in the country, in fact, their incomes are eroded if nothing is done about it. I don’t think we will get the best that we can get from our teachers.”

The Ranking Member also asked the government to listen to the teachers and “then do something about it because the hardship is too much and teachers are not left out in this situation.

“Their demand for better conditions of service is a must. But the only thing I think they should do is engage the government more so that they can be granted the cost of living allowance that they are looking for. It is not an increment of salary they are looking for, rather an allowance that cushions them in the meantime.”

NAGRAT at press conference on June 7, 2022 has warned the government that they will embark on an industrial strike action if the government does not commence the payment of their 20% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) by the end of June..

The Vice President for NAGRAT, Jacob Anaba who addressed the media catalogued a number of reasons for their demand including the current economic hardship in the country.

“We are per this conference serving notice to those who matter that their in attitude towards the call by the Union to add COLA to the suffering Ghanaians worker is leaving us with no alternative that to respond to the insensate demands of our members.

“We, therefore, demand that as a matter of urgency the government grant workers a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) of 20% at the end of June 2022. Secondly, we demand that the national tripartite committee, a body mandated by law per Section 113 of the Labor Act 2003 Act 6,5,1 must act as a matter of urgency to determine the new minimum wage for the year 2003 by the middle of June 2022,” he added.

Source: Ghana/