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General News of Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

High Court orders striking teachers back to class

An Accra High Court has ordered the striking teacher unions to discontinue their strike action.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers have also been ordered by the court to comply with the directives of the National Labour Commission.

The Commission ruled that the strike action by the teacher unions is illegal and directed them to resume their duties with immediate effect.

The National Labour Commission said the teacher unions did not follow due process before declaring the strike action, causing them to declare the strike illegal.

However, the teacher unions called the bluff of the Commission and continued the strike.

But, in its ruling on an ex-parte motion applied for by the NLC, the High Court has ordered the teachers to go back to class, adding the order be for 10 days after which it may be repeated on notice.

What is being disputed?

The teacher unions declared a strike December 5, 2019, after a series of failed engagements with the government on Legacy Arrears incurred between 2012 and 2016.

The teachers say they suspect that the arrears have been verified and approved for payment by the Controller and Accountant General’s internal audit unit, yet the monies have not been released.

The strike which took effect from Monday, December 9, had members of the unions abandoning their post, leaving pupils in the care of national service personnel and headteachers.

Checks by JoyNews in some schools across the country found students loitering around or seated in groups with nothing to do.

In some schools, older students and prefects were forced to help their headteachers maintain order and discipline on campus.

Meanwhile, the President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu has said his members would return to the classroom following the court order, reports say.