Officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES) have been forced to meet with the National Association of Graduate Teachers executives (NAGRAT) over a planned strike.
NAGRAT had threatened a strike action over a ten cedi compulsory deduction from salaries of members for insurance purposes.
President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu told Citi News that they will go into the meeting with the GES with the hope that their grievances will be addressed.
“We expect that the concerns we raised will be addressed. We have indicated that if our concerns are not addressed then they should expect that we take an industrial action.”
Three teacher unions earlier threatened to withdraw their services from the beginning of the next academic year for deductions made from their salaries under a supposedly unsolicited insurance policy.
The three unions said although most of the teachers had objected to the Ghana Education Service (GES)-SICLife Insurance Policy, blanket deductions had affected the salaries of all GES workers without their consent.
They consequently described the situation as unacceptable.
“We are asking the GES to stop the deductions by the end of August and refund all amounts of money deducted from teachers till date to them. If at the end of August these deductions have not ceased and the money deducted not refunded to our members, we shall withdraw our services from September 1, 2019,” the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr David Ofori Acheampong, said at a joint news conference in Accra on Monday.
The GES-SICLife policy is a government initiative introduced last year for GES workers, especially teachers, and it covers life, permanent disability and critical illness.
Under the policy, between GH¢9,000 and GH¢18,000 will be paid out to a member who suffers critical illness, including cancers, heart attack, kidney failure, loss of sight, stroke and permanent disability sustained as a result of an accident or an illness.
However, deductions of GH¢10 each made from the salaries of all GES workers, apparently without their consent, in June 2018 led to agitations which forced the suspension of the scheme.
Subsequently, a lot of teachers opted out and their money was refunded to them with an assurance from the GES that sensitisation would be done to implement the policy in April this year.