NAGRAT threatens to withdraw services over unsolicited insurance policy deductions
Members of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) have threatened to lay down their tools effective September 1, 2019, should the Ghana Education Service fail to halt monthly deductions of GHc10 from their salaries.
The Ghana Education Service introduced an insurance policy which has become unpopular with many teachers. This move has since been opposed by the various teacher unions.
The leadership of NAGRAT at a press conference on Wednesday said the compulsory deduction of the premiums is an attempt by GES to bully them.
The president of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu at the press conference asked GES to refund all deductions to the affected teachers.
“NAGRAT is appalled by the insensitive and heavy-handed approach the management of the Ghana Education Service is taking in the GES SIC life policy issue. Their unyielding desire of management to impose an insurance policy on staff without taking their concern create suspicion as to the real intentions of the policy. Even though the teacher unions have made it clear that such a policy should be optional for interested teachers to apply, GES management thinks otherwise. NAGRAT sees the compulsory deduction of premium from teachers who have not applied for the policy as an attempt to bully teachers. We call on GES to immediately stop the illegal deduction and refund all monies by the end of August. If GES doesn’t heed to this advice teachers will withdraw their services from 1st of September 2019”
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 monies were refunded to them with an assurance from the GES that sensitisation would be done to implement the policy in April this year.
General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr David Ofori Acheampong had earlier stated that “We have had a lengthy discussion with GES on this particular matter. But it looks as if the GES is doing what they think is right. So far as we are concerned, this is an optional policy and people must sign onto it willingly.”
He noted that the move was a sign of gross disrespect for teachers and cautioned the GES to put the policy on hold with immediate effect.