COALITION OF AGGRIEVED TEACHERS GHANA (CATEG) – PRESS STATEMENT (10/08/2021)
PRESS STATEMENT BY THREE PRE-TERTIARY TEACHER UNIONS A SHAM
We are highly disappointed in the leadership of the three pre-tertiary teacher unions: GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT-GH for what we can describe as labour expediency in a move to cover their incompetency and carefree attitude.
It is unfortunate and palpable insults for our leaders to sit aloof for things to degenerate up to this extent before rising up to the occasion. We ask a simple question: why have they come out as quickly as possible to threaten the government?
Is it the first time they are doing so? What do they seek to achieve? It is obviously obvious that they have seen the resilience of UTAG leaders in the face of court threats by NLC.
UTAG is unfazed by any form of threat and is willing to face the negotiation team squarely without a bend. With pressure mounting on the leadership of GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT-GH by their members amidst threats of closing their offices nationwide, they have decided to take the path of expediency just to paint a picture that they are concerned.
Now we are coming to deal with their hypocrisy for all and sundry to see and to know that the leadership of the pre-tertiary teacher unions only acts on impulses and convenience. UTAG has shown them the way and they want to utilize the opportunity to show that they are also concerned.
The issues involve are showing clearly that GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT-GH are hypocrites and do not care a little about their members.
Among other things, the unions raise the following issues which amount to an insult to the teaching fraternity:
Operation Lock All Union Offices Activated
(a) Teaching and Learning Resources
Since when did the unions realized we lack textbooks and other learning aid for teaching. I am surprised the unions say that our school environments are not conducive for learning and that classes are overcrowded. They bemoaned that quality education has been affected in poor students’ results at the SHS.
We ask the Unions when did they realize that certain conditions are resulting in poor performances. When the government was introducing the free SHS, they could not put up a spirited defence in favour of quality and allow it to pass only for them to come and complain today.
Again, when the government was introducing the new curriculum, these unions sat down unconcerned until now that they are complaining about the lack of textbooks and teaching aids.
(b) Contact and working Hours
The Unions also claim in their release that GES has increased the workload of teachers as well as hours. They concluded that GES has failed to compensate the affected teachers.
This is ridiculous and ineptitude, incompetence at its best. Per the Collective Agreement, these Unions are supposed to decide on working hours for the day and week.
So technically, the unions want to tell us that they failed to negotiate the same in favour of their members or what? What were the unions doing when GES was taking decisions in this COVID-19 era?
Were they not invited to stakeholders meetings? What did they say in favour of their members? They were only stooges and have now wakened up from their slumber.
(c) Upgrading of Teachers
Since 2013, GES has devised clandestine moves in whichever form to either delay teachers in upgrading or frustrate them from getting the same. Many teachers have acquired some level of certification and are yet to be upgraded.
These issues had come up again and again and teachers continue to lament about them. Strangely enough, the unions have kept quiet about these things and had done virtually nothing.
Until today, the teacher unions claim they have now realized that it is a great concern eating their members up and can longer stand or tolerate it. This is very serious and laughable. It is ridiculous for well-meaning leaders to play with the minds of teachers to this extent.
(d) Responsibly Allowance
The unions also cried over teachers who hold various positions and GES had failed to recognise their responsibilities by failing to pay them allowances. They said the most affected are those whose promotions to other ranks stopped their responsibility allowance.
This is scandalous and abysmal. These union leaders are hollow and empty. Teachers continue to cry every day since time immemorial over these things and seem no one cares.
Teacher unions want to score points because they are under pressure, so they have to be saying things out of the blues. This is scandalous.
(e) Promotion crisis, Refusal to do appointments, transfer of teachers to special schools and signing of performance contract
Raising issues about promotion crisis, transfer of teachers to special schools, signing of performance contract make us think these unions are only decorated unions. Noisemakers and trumpet blowers and nothing more.
Teacher unions are always SURPRISED ABOUT GES ACTIONS, which is what they always say. They also said they do not have knowledge about the content of what is in the GES performance contract with the heads of schools.
It is important for us in the teaching fraternity to understand that these unions cannot match the government in whichever form per their own confessions, contradictions and lack of knowledge of their responsibility as labour unions.
(f) Call to Action
It becomes more funny and interesting when teacher unions serve a notice to the government giving him up to the close of September to resolve all these issues. They continue to say that failure to address these will leave them no option other than to advise themselves in the interest of their members within the framework of the collective agreement and some applicable Ghana laws.
It makes us laugh granulate on top. Since when did the teacher unions realize they can advise themselves in the interest of their members based on the framework of the collective agreement and some applicable laws? If they know they possess such a power, why have they refused to use it until now? Who advised them this time around to threaten the government?
They are reminded that a limited collective agreement in the ambit of the law could fail them in court. Again, no teacher should take these teacher unions serious since they lack the capacity even to get results with their so-called threat.
We know them already and similar actions had yielded negative results and no proper direction. They clapped when the president said we cannot be millionaires and gladly endorsed it.
Because UTAG is resolute and pressure is mounting on these unions, they have quickly come out with a fictitious statement to deceive members.
It is a sham and no one should take them serious. Teachers need a new path and we ask the teacher unions to change the status quo as soon as possible.
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