Govt, NAGRAT meet again over unpaid arrears

Mr Haruna Idddrisu (left), Minister of Employment and Labour Relations in a discussion with some representatives of NAGRAT after the meeting at the Ministry in Accra 

 A meeting held between the government and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) in Accra Monday to discuss the concerns of graduate teachers ended inconclusively.

The parties agreed to continue with the meeting Tuesday.

The meeting was necessitated by a notice served by members of NAGRAT to go on strike if the government failed to pay outstanding salaries due them by the end of February, this year.

Teachers’ concerns, which were tabled at Monday’s meeting, related to incremental credit arrears for 2011 and 2012, the payment of not more than three months’ salary arrears, transfer grants, overtime allowance and allowances for vehicles, motorbikes and bicycles.

The about two-hour meeting was chaired by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Haruna Idrissu. Also included in the government’s team were the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang; a Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa; and a Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ahmed Mohammed Baba Jamal. The Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Mr George Smith-Graham, was present.

In attendance were the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Jacob Kor, and the leadership of NAGRAT and the Ghana National  Association of Teachers (GNAT).

No deadlock

After the closed-door meeting, the government and teacher representatives indicated that they would not speak to the media.

Mr Idrissu simply told the Daily Graphic that the meeting had been positive, and indicated that both parties had agreed on a common plan to address the concerns of the teachers.

He reiterated his call on the teachers to rescind their decision to embark on strike.

Mr Baba Jamal also told the Daily Graphic that there was no deadlock at the meeting.

He indicated that there were some issues that needed more information to enhance clarity, but he would not mention the issues.

Mr Baba Jamal said the meeting agreed that such information should be gathered and brought to the meeting scheduled for today.

Further consultations

The Head of Compensation, Salaries and Conditions of Service of GNAT, Mr Ahinkawa Quarshie, told the Daily Graphic that there were some issues that the government and teacher representatives needed to go back and do further consultations on.

He declined to give further details of the issues of agreement or disagreements at the meeting.

“The next meeting is tomorrow and both parties are going to undertake further consultations,” he said.

Mr Quarshie expressed the hope that the two parties would reach an agreement by the end of Tuesday’s meeting.


Source: GraphicOnline

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