Following the closure of 46 Colleges of Education, the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG), has said there has been no winner as the impasse over market premiums escalates.
“I think it has offered a sober reflection to government and to CETAG so that both of us will know that we need to do what we are supposed to do,” President of CETAG, Prince Obeng-Himah said on The Big Issue.
He, however, maintained that government is to blame following CETAG’s four-week strike.
The National Labour Commission [NLC], was not able to end the impasse between the CETAG and the government.
CETAG has been in negotiations with the government since 2012 over the payment of their Interim Market Premiums and Book and Research allowances.
“Government has to listen to us because in the face of the law, we believe that what we are asking for is not something outrageous,” Mr. Obeng-Himah said.
According to him, the government, which has urged CETAG to compromise on its stance, is trying to impose terms on the teachers.
“If you come in there and you tell us you have the mandate to negotiate for five per cent and the budget has already taken care of what we are negotiating, then what is the essence of negotiating,” the CETAG president quizzed.
CETAG threatened to go to court to push for the closure of the colleges for the rest of this semester in line with the law governing the colleges, which states that colleges must be closed down and the semester annulled if academic work halts for more than three weeks.
Mr. Obeng-Himah maintains that the government was given ample warning of what was at stake for the Colleges of Education.
“We knew we will get to a moment like where we are. That is why we had activated a conversation about the possible closure of the college some few weeks ago so that government will be informed accordingly and soften their stance and move away from the entrenched positions they have taken.”