Teachers’ marathon protests over unpaid arrears seem to have started yielding results as government has agreed to pay teachers a part of the debts – GH¢1.5 million out of the total GH¢16 million.
Government reached this agreement after a long meeting with the Labour Ministry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountant General Department, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Ghana Education Service on Wednesday.
This is the third time the teacher unions have met with government after two previous meetings on Monday and Tuesday ended inconclusively.
The various teacher unions; the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) are demanding the payment of their salary arrears by February 29, or they will embark on an indefinite strike.
Government had earlier on said that they will not be able to meet with the February 29 deadline as a result of the volumes of data they must access before they will be able to pay teachers.
Moreover, the Ghana Education Service (GES) Boss said there are some teachers, about 400 of them who are operating with fake certificates. Government also needs to sort that out, and have them remanded through the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI). The accusation was however greeted with great annoyance from the teachers who demanded the arrest of the GES Boss.
However, government has promised to pay teachers GH¢ 1.5 million out of the GH¢ 16 million, which is the total amount of arrears government is owing the teachers since 2013. They also promised to pay teachers the rest of the of 2013 and 2014 arrears after a validation process which is expected to begin today, being Thursday.
The teachers are now hoping that the government will fulfill their latest promise, while still standing on their February, 29 ultimatum for its fulfillment.