|Press Briefing on Payment of Salary Arrears to Teachers|
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen from the Press, Let me welcome you once again to this short Press Briefing on the payment of Salary arrears to teachers
after the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure in the Ghana Education Service in February , 2011 and other matters concerning conditions of employment of teachers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the payment of salaries of teachers on the Single Spine Salary structure was effected at the end of February, 2011. This was one year after which the agreed road map for the migration of the GES staff came into fruition. In 2010, when negotiations on the base pay and pay point relativity were completed, there was a roadmap indicating when each institution would be placed on the spine. The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Public Service Joint Negotiating Committee agreed that the arrears payment would be considered when all public sector institutions have been migrated based on the roadmap for 2010. Unfortunately, the roadmap did not work due to technical difficulties.
In January, 2011 the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission conveyed the new grade structure for the GES to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning by their letter referenced FWSC/SCB/Vol.3/06 and gave a copy to the Ghana National Association of Teachers. Upon receipt of the letter, GNAT sent a proposal on the payment of Salary arrears to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission. That letter was not even acknowledged. This forced GNAT to write a second letter to Fair Wages demanding that the salary arrears of teachers be paid by June, 2011.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on 16th June, 2011, GNAT received a response from Fair Wages and Salaries Commission that the payment of the arrears to teachers will be a subject for negotiation by the Social Partners under the auspices of the Public Service Joint Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) upon receipt of mandate from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. GNAT sees this response as unfortunate because it does not address anything. The questions which come to mind immediately are:
1. WHEN WILL THE MANDATE BE SOUGHT FOR THE NEGOTIATIONS TO BEGIN?
2. WILL THE VALUE OF THE ARREARS WHICH IS PART OF A TEACHERS SALARY FOR 2010 BE THE SAME WHEN PAID NOW OR IN THE FUTURE?
3. HAS FAIR WAGES AND SALARIES COMMISSION FINISHED THE MIGRATION OF ALL PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYEES AS AT NOW?
4. FOR HOW LONG SHOULD TEACHERS WAIT FOR THEIR LEGITIMATE ENTITLEMENTS?
Ladies and Gentlemen, GNAT believes in the use of dialogue in solving labour problems.We have on several occasions used this approach to the detriment of the existence of our union. We think that enough is enough. If Government cannot pay the arrears immediately due to liquidity problems she must gather courage and tell Ghanaians instead of shifting the goal posts.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have come to the end of our waiting period. GNAT leadership can no longer restrain our members from adopting which ever legitimate means to address this problem. GNAT is giving Government an ultimatum to complete the negotiations and the payment of arrears by 31st, July 2011.
In addition to the demand for payment of the Salary arrears to teachers by 31st July 2011, GNAT further requests that negotiation on a new base pay and pay point relativity for 2011 should be completed by the end of July, 2011 and salaries based on the agreed levels paid at the end of August, 2011.
THANK YOU FOR COMING
Irene D. Adanusa (Mrs)
General Secretary, GNAT