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General News of Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Source: GNA

Teachers Still On Strike...

...Ministry reiterates appeal to NAGRAT
Accra, Oct. 4, GNA - The Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu-Ankomah on Wednesday reiterated its appeal to all striking members of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) to resume work while negotiations for better service conditions continued.

This was because parents were sacrificing a lot to ensure the smooth education of their children in second cycle institutions. In a statement issued in Accra, he said salaries of all workers in the public sector, including NAGRAT members, were being looked at by the Government.

In line with this, two meetings had already been held with organised labour, including the teachers' union and public sector representatives of workers on new salaries for all workers.

"Currently, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) are seriously preparing to engage in negotiations on conditions of service for all categories of teachers," Papa Owusu-Ankomah said.

He said GNAT submitted its input on September 29 and since only to enable negotiations to commence.

'While the Ministry acknowledges the right of NAGRAT members to form an association, since GNAT is the only union with a collective bargaining certificate, it should be made clear that the GES cannot by law negotiate the terms and conditions of service of teachers with any other association.'

Papa Owusu-Ankomah said in spite of this, the Government, being their employer had on various occasions, through GES, held discussions with the National Executive of NAGRAT in an effort to amicably resolve their concerns.

'Once again, we wish to reiterate that matters concerning improved service conditions by any group should be done in conformity with the Labour Laws of the country and urge NAGRAT to join GNAT for the negotiations.'

Papa Osusu-Ankomah said the Acting Director-General of the GES, Mr Michael Nsowah had been engaged on contract until a substantive Director-General was appointed.

NAGRAT is asking for the replacement of Mr Nsowah since his compulsory retirement was due last year.