Information Minister, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has said the government has cleared the salary arrears of members of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT).
The arrears were to have been paid by the end of March but validation processes forced a delay for a few days, and, so expressed surprised at the nationwide strike declared by NAGRAT on Wednesday, 4 April. According to the Minster.
Mr Abdul-Hamid told Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen political talk show on authority that the Ministry of Finance has paid the arrears.
A few hours before his interview, NAGRAT declared a strike effective to pile pressure on the government to pay the arrears which have delayed since 2013.
At a press conference in Accra, NAGRAT President Eric Agbe-Carbonu said: “The disquiet of our members has reached its fever-pitch over the broken promises and deceit regarding the non-payment of these arrears by the government,” hence their strike.
Read the full statement below:
PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY MR ERIC AGBE-CARBONU, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT)-GHANA ON ARREARS OWED TEACHERS ON WEDNESDAY 4TH APRIL, 2018 AT NAGRAT LYCEUM
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the National Executive and Council of NAGRAT and indeed, of all the teachers here gathered, and those across the length and breadth of this Country, I wish to welcome you to this morning’s Press Conference.
We are indeed grateful for your presence here considering the fact that our invitation was extended to you at a very short notice.
We would like to thank you for this show of our mutual relationship and cooperation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, this press conference today, is once again, a forum for us to express our frustrations and disgust at the deliberate actions and inactions of the government regarding salary arrears owed the Ghanaian teacher since 2013 in respect of salary adjustments, upgrading, and promotions, as well as outstanding transfer grants, without any convincing reason.
The disquiet of our members has reached its fever-pitch over the broken promises and deceit regarding the non-payment of these arrears by the government.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, since coming into office, the government promised that the teacher was going to be at the center of all its educational policies and that all arrears owed teachers will be paid.
Little did we know that even the inclusion of it in the 2017 Budget was only a red herring since not even a pesewa has been paid.
We note with regret that in spite of the litany of promises and numerous validation exercises and agreement signed, none of these have yielded any positive result to the benefit of the Teacher.
Instead, what we see are orchestrations, tactics, artful maneuvering and manipulations employed by the Ministry of Finance, and the Government for that matter to drag its feet and possibly, refuse to pay the arrears at all.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, NAGRAT has done all it could and at every twist and turn, we hit the wall.
We have, indeed, come to the end of the road and we have no other alternative than to advise ourselves, and we so advise! The leadership of NAGRAT do hereby on this day, 4th of April, 2018 resolve that all NAGRAT members at the pre-tertiary level should lay down their tools and abstain from work; and that when the senior high schools re-open on the 16th April 2018, nobody should expect our members to be present.
We urge all our members to be resolute in pursuing what is rightfully ours. We further advise heads of institutions and departments not to yield to any so-called “pressure from above” in an attempt to intimidate teachers in the pursuit of their lawful and legitimate demands, because such actions will be met with full resistance.