The Pre-tertiary teacher unions of the Eastern Region took to the streets of Koforidua on Wednesday, demanding the immediate disbursement of their allowances.

The demonstration, part of a series of labor activities, aimed to express dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to implement the allowances agreed upon in their Collective Agreement since 2009 and after the 2020 agreement.

The allowances which the unions say have been magnanimously reduced from 17 to 4 due to the current economic hardship the country finds itself include deprived area allowance, extra assessment allowance, book/data/online teaching support allowance, and upward adjustment of the continuous professional development (CPD) allowance.

After marching through the principal streets of Koforidua amidst cheers from some pupils in schools along the streets, the unions presented a petition to the Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong which was received on his behalf by the Regional Coordinating Director Samuel Donkor.

They highlighted challenges faced by teachers due to harsh economic conditions and the government’s inaction.

“Despite this gesture of good faith from the Unions at the current negotiations, the government is still adamant and has demonstrated bad faith. This has oftentimes culminated in high-level despondency and disaffection for leadership and the ongoing negotiations is not an exception” a Portion of the petition read by Kafui Kwame Kusefe, Regional Secretary Ghana National Association of Teachers stated.

The petition continued “We have had to hang on the thin line, with our members complaining bitterly. These complaints have become worse, especially as our members are reeling under the utter hardship imposed on us all by the current economic conditions in the country.”

The teachers have given the government up to May 31, 2024 for their grievances addressed else will escalate their industrial actions.

“We wish to stress that we have had enough of the nonchalance, complacency, and aloofness of the Employer, and would thus not countenance this situation any longer because the Ghanaian teacher also deserves better. Consequently, we are giving the Employer up to May 31, 2024, to address our concerns”

“We wish to state in strongest terms that, should the Employer fail to address our demands on or before May 31, 2024, then we shall call on leadership to take decisive action in the interest of members”.

Samuel Donkor, the Regional Coordinating Director said the petition will be handed over to the Regional Minister who was attending to an emergency assignment at the Akuse area for swift action.

The unions, made up of members of the Ghana National Association of Ghana (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana, also urged the government to deliver the laptops under the “one teacher one laptop” program to many teachers yet to receive since they have already been deducted.

Dr. Mrs.Ivy Asantewaa Owusu, Eastern Regional Director of Education assured the teachers that their concerns will be addressed, ensuring that their industrial actions do not disrupt academic activities.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah