Augustine Saakuur Karbo, General Secretary of the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union
The Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU), has called on government through the National Pension Regulatory Authority to release the tier two pension fund to the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme Board for investment.
The Union said such move would ensure that when their members retire in 2020, they would not be short-changed in the payment of the lump-sum of their retirement benefits.
This was in a statement signed by Mr Augustine Saakuur Karbo, the General Secretary of TEWU, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
“As it stands, any further delay will affect the retirement income security of our members; causing them not to have the full benefit of their retirement package”, the statement said.
Mr Karbo said the Union has been patient with government and its agencies with regards to the controversy surrounding the tier two pension funds and would resist any such attempt to delay the release of the fund to the Board.
“We urged all our members to remain calm while we pursue this matter to its logical conclusion. However, any further excuse in delaying the release of the funds may compel the Union to advice itself”.
He said the TEWU leadership is reminding government especially the Ministry of Education to tread cautiously and not rush to implement the GES-SIC Group Life Insurance Policy without nationwide sensitization and education.
“We wished to reiterate that the GES-SIC Group Insurance Policy is laudable, but warned that if the education authorities continue to disregard concerns by Union leaders and rush with its implementation, there will be serious challenges ahead”.
He said the GES-SIC Group Life Insurance Policy was not compulsory but voluntary, and that there must be forms made available to all staff during education and sensitization fora where interested members will subscribe to it voluntarily.
“We insist that deductions should be made after the education and sensitization fora has been completed in all the Regions. We are strongly opposed to making all staff to be part of the policy and requesting those who don’t want it to opt out”.
The Union reminded members that, the September deadline for deductions to resume for the GES-SIC Group Life Insurance Policy would be fearlessly resisted because the sensitization and education programme was done in only Ashanti Region with the remaining nine Regions yet to have their turn.
He, however, urged members across the country, to exercise restraint and those who are genuinely interested can fill the forms after the education and sensitization programme.
The Union reminded the education authorities that the misgivings and furry that met the initial deduction of GH¢10.00 in June still exists and must be addressed.
He said the Union had learnt with grave disappointment that there would not be any government matching contribution, to what each person contributes, contrary to what union leaders were initially made to believe and therefore see the move as an official deception.
“If it is true that the government is making a matching contribution of GH¢10.00 per member per month bringing the total contribution per member per month to GH¢20.00, we request a review of the benefits upward and a refund of some percentage of total contribution to those who will not benefit from the policy before going on retirement”.
“We demand an unconditional refund of staff deductions made in the month of June 2018 with immediate effect”, he added.