NAGRAT will not call off strike – Ayuradoya

Accra, � The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), will not call off its strike action until the government shows concrete plans towards the resolution of the labour dispute over their salary arrears.

Mr Michael Ayuradoya, NAGRAT Deputy General Secretary, speaking to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday in Accra, said the least they expected from government was to tell them in concrete terms; declaring that if they cannot pay us the total sum, how much they can pay us, and so until we get to that point, everybody should stay in tune and have confidence in leadership.

He therefore, called upon its membership to ignore the mischief that is going round, and to stick to their national leadership orders, that they are on strikes.

He said the entire membership was on strike and that they expected their outstanding salaries arrears to be paid by the government.

It would be recalled that NAGRAT on Wednesday, April 5, embarked on an indefinite strike action over unpaid salary arrears due its members.

Mr Ayuradoya said somewhere in 2012, the then government introduced Three Month Payment Policy where teachers who have been recruited and employed and have their salaries delayed, have three months of their salary paid after which the rest are worked on to be paid.

He explained that to ensure the rest of the salaries are paid, They fill some forms, which are given to the Audit Service to validate to ensure that you are actually in the system to ensure that the rest of the salaries are paid regularly.

Mr Ayuradoya described the policy as so intangible, adding that, We resisted it but we did not succeed. However, we started with the validation and the payment.

He said initially, they had over 65,000 teachers and non-teaching staff of the Ghana Education Service, whose payment the validation processes were ongoing, unfortunately the government at the time could not complete the payment of all the back-lock of the arrears, hence, the strike action.

Mr Ayuradoya said: Our last meeting was on the 12th of January 2018. And at that meeting, which took place at the Ministry of Finance Conference room, stakeholders agreed that in view of the enormity of the cash that was involved in costing the validated claims and the validated claims were about 14,875 teachers whose works were yet to be completed but 239 had been completed and we still have some problems with it.

Mr Ayuradoya noted that in February, the NAGRAT National Council at the end of its meeting issued a communique, in which the issue of their arrears was raised.

We indicated that if at the end of March we do not have the arrears paid, we would go on a strike. This was made clear and we were hoping that we would not get to that point, but unfortunately at the end of March, we had nothing, the monies were not paid, we had not received any communication, and neither was there a meeting, he said.

Of course, our members agitated because their patience had worn out and so we decided to pursue to go on strike.

He said that once the money hits the account of their members, they would end their strike action and return to the classroom.

Source: Ghana News Agency