GNAT BARES TEETH AT DECISION TO SUSPEND TEACHERS’ VALIDATION PROCESS

3FM is gathering that the ongoing validation process of documents of about 6,000 teachers to facilitate payments of their salary arrears is likely to be suspended by the end of the week.

Information available to 3FM suggests that the decision to halt the exercise was due to lack of funds to host persons working on the validation at a hotel in Apam in the Central Region.

Members of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and other stakeholders were undertaking the exercise at the Mensvic Hotel in Accra but had to be relocated because the commission said it was expensive operating from there.

However, it seems the Commission is cash-strapped to fund the exercise.

But the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has threatened it will go on strike if the validation process is suspended.

Head of Compensation, Salaries and Conditions of Service at GNAT, Ahinaquah Quarshie disclosed to 3FM that the association will not agree to the suspension.

The association is convinced the suspension is a deliberate attempt to delay the validation process and further worsen the situation of affected teachers.

He said, “The work must be done and must be completed before we come back. The initial 29,000 documents have not been done and you want to suspend. We are even requesting that the entire exercise be completed before payment. What’s the guarantee that the rest will be paid?’’

Ahinaquah Quarshie demanded, ‘‘what is going on does not guarantee completion of the exercise so if it’s about funding, they should go and look for the money to complete the work’’.

So far 1,882 teachers have been validated but only 8,762 have been approved for payment.

Background

Teachers across the country earlier this year served notice to embark on strike on February 29, 2016 if government failed to pay them their outstanding arrears by the end of February.

Government subsequently met the various teacher unions on two different occasions and the teachers agree to rescind their decision.

Government had however maintained that arrears for 2013 and 2014 will not be paid, until the payment processes are validated.

This necessitated the validation of documents of teachers to enable them get their salary arrears.

Story by Sarah Parku 3FM 92.7

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