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Regional News Wed, 20 Feb 2008

NAGRAT disappointed by government failure to improve teachers' pay.

Ho, Feb. 20, GNA- The Volta Regional branch of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) on Wednesday expressed its disappointment over government's inability to improve teachers pay, despite promises made.

A statement read to the media after a nearly seven-hour meeting of the Association in Ho said, the promises made by government ended the September 2006 countrywide teachers' strike, but indications were that government was going to renege on its pledge to restructure salaries, beginning January this year under a "single spine" formula expected to enhance pay of teachers. The statement read by Mr Dan Yorgbe, Regional NAGRAT Chairman slammed government for shifting the time of implementation of the "single spine" salary system at its convenience without reason, so that "it is difficult to believe them (government) again. It pointed out that recent news in the media about huge arrears paid to teachers in January this year had only overblown payments, which did not represent rise in pay but 2007 arrears due teachers.

The statement demanded that teachers be promoted when time was due and not treated with impunity and disdain by tagging certain promotions as "notional" and others as "substantive". It also demanded an immediate stop to the engagement of retired teachers under conditions other than those stipulated by the Ghana Education Service (GES). The statement also mentioned the delay or partial payment of transfer grants, travel and transport claims as some grievances that government must address.

Mr Yorgbe said NAGRAT, as it was known to do, would wait on government to resolve teachers concerns "until its patience runs out". He expressed concern about the trend now among parents to withdraw their children from teacher training colleges to health education institutions, warning that if nothing was done the "wagging teachers morale would continue" to affect teaching in all schools negatively. 20 Feb. 08

Source: GNA