The Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) has said that its members will continue to be on strike even if their strike results in salary cuts.
The President of CETAG, Prince Obeng Himah, said that they won’t be surprised if the government attempted to cut off their salaries during the strike period.
CETAG members from all 46 training colleges have been on strike since August 1, citing the government’s failure to adhere to the National Labour Commission (NLC)’s Arbitral Award Orders and the negotiated conditions of service since May 2, 2023.
Despite repeated notices sent to the Ministry of Finance, the agreed-upon negotiations have not yet been implemented, leading to the continued impasse.
Asked on Eyewitness News, if CETAG would be surprised if the government decides not to pay the period they have been on strike, Mr Himah said, “No we won’t be surprised at all. We have heard whispers from certain corridors that punitive actions were going to be taken if we dared go on strike. These were some of the things that were whispered, that salaries will be frozen, those of us leading the strike will be imprisoned, and we are fully aware of what is ahead as union members. How do you say we won’t be paid if we don’t sign attendance when it has not been part of our scheme of things”.
He called for an open conversation between CETAG and the NLC about their salary arrears.
“We are not happy with the turn of events. We need to fight to right the wrongs, if we do not fight, we will not even live to benefit what we are fighting for. The whole documentation should result in payments, at the end of the day, the economy is hard, and people continue to be on expired 2021 conditions of service. Those are the things we should pay attention to.”
“We are talking about arrears from January 2023 to date, now what is the road map, are we going to be paid the arrears? We should open frank conversation on the way forward so that all of us will be informed on how we are going about it”.
The Executive Secretary of the NLC, Ofosu Asamoah, called on the government to punish CETAG for embarking on an illegal strike.
“The Commission has told you, don’t go, and you went, and it says stop what you are doing, and you say you won’t. Defying the orders of the Commission is an unlawful act. The Commission will have to resort to the court to compel them to go back to the classrooms if they still proceed on the strike. And their employers will also have the right to punish them for proceeding with this illegal strike. Two wrongs do not make a right,” he opined.