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FWSC calls on teacher unions to call off strike

Benjamin Arthur, the chief executive officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission(FWSC), has called on the striking teacher union to call off their strike to pave the way for proper engagement.

Four teacher unions in the country on Monday (4 July) began an indefinite strike over their cost of living allowance (COLA).

They are the Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union.

They said the government failed to meet their 30 June deadline to pay their members the cost of living allowance.

Speaking with Benjamin Offei-Addo on the Asaase Breakfast Show Wednesday ( 6 July), Arthur said, “It will not take a strike to get all these resolved. Dialogue is the way forward.”

“And I am appealing to them; they should call off the strike for us to engage. I am confident that all concerns will come to the table for redress,” he said.

He added, “Organised Labour has the right to demand what they believe is due them. The employer also has his right just as in normal industrial relations but we should not lose sight of the fact that we cannot cease to engage.

“It’s dialogue and my appeal to Organised Labour is that they should have faith in the government and continue to engage.”

Don’t shut schools

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed all heads of senior high schools to keep schools open despite a strike by four teacher unions in the country.

In a statement, the GES said it had invited the striking teacher unions to discuss the labour dispute and the way forward.

“Heads of senior high schools have been directed through the regional and district directors to mobilise their management teams to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students in schools,” the GES statement said.

“Meanwhile, parents are advised to remain calm and be assured that management is closely monitoring the situation and will advise on the way forward accordingly,” it added.

Read the full statement below:

Four teacher unions in the country declared an indefinite strike over the GES’s failure to pay them a cost-of-living allowance (COLA).

They are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana and the Teachers’ and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU).

They said the government failed to meet a 30 June deadline they had set for paying their members a cost-of-living allowance.

The teachers are fighting for the payment of between 20% and 30% of their gross salary by way of a new allowance.

They said the COLA will cushion them against current economic conditions and teachers’ worsening standard of living.

Fred Dzakpata

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