Teachers, govt meet again to seek solution to strike over 20% COLA today

The Government, represented by the Ministers of Employment and Labour Relations, Finance, Education and National Security will continue engagements with teacher unions today.

A press release signed by Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations announced the meeting time as 2:00 pm.

The release was issued after a meeting with the Unions in Accra on Friday to address their concerns.

The government entreated the teacher unions to call off their industrial action and return to the classroom as negotiations continue on their demand for 20% Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA).

The statement added that the government will continue to engage the Unions to find a lasting solution.

The statement said the Government had taken note of the demand by organised labour for 20% COLA in the light of the current economic conditions prevailing in the country.

It reiterated that the Government was committed to engaging Organised Labour to find a lasting solution to the issue.

In the light of the foregoing, the parties had resolved to reconvene today at 2:00pm to begin negotiations on demand by Organised Labour, the statement added.

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to striking teachers to return to the classroom pending the outcome of negotiations with the government on their demand for a 20%  Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

In the spirit of sacrifice, the at this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebration, the President pleaded with the teachers to go back to the classroom, as government and Organised Labour worked to reach a middle way on their demand.

“I want to add my voice to the appeal for the teachers return to classrooms pending the outcome of negotiation with government so that the education of our children, some of whom are preparing to sit their final exams is not affected,” President Akufo-Addo said, when he joined Islamic faithful at the Independence Square in Accra to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, the feast of the sacrifice.

Four teacher unions on Monday, July 4, 2022, declared an indefinite nationwide strike to press home their demand for the Government to pay a 20 percent COLA in view of rising cost of living in the country.

But, the Government and Organised Labour met on Friday, July 8, 2022, and agreed to begin negotiations on July 12, 2022, on the teachers’ demand.

On Monday, July 04, 2022, four teacher unions – the Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Coalition of Concerned Teachers and Teachers and Educational Workers Union – declared an indefinite strike over the government’s failure to pay them a 20% Cost of Living Allowance.

The Unions said the demand was to cushion teachers in the wake of high inflation and increases in price of goods and services with the attendant high cost of living.

It said the unions had made the call on different platforms and times but had fallen on the deaf ears of the Government.

It said their call started through a Press Conference on 24 February 2022 by the Unions in Pre-Tertiary Education Sector and another one which was also addressed on 20 May 2022 by the Forum of Public Sector Unions.

Since then, a passionate request contained in the 2022 May Day Speech, and recently, an official correspondence dated 24 June 2022 by the Secretary-General of TUC, addressed to the President of the Republic of Ghana also made the same call but to no avail.

SOURCE: The Finder

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