NLC orders striking teachers back to classroom
…as it seeks amicable solutions to govt, teacher unions impasse

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the three teacher unions to immediately call off their strike.

It has further ordered the unions and representatives of the government to resume engagement on issues under contention and report back by November 16 this year.

Briefing the media at a meeting with representatives of both parties yesterday in Accra, Executive Secretary of the NLC, Mr Ofosu Asamoah, said, although the unions were entitled to their concerns, the strike action not the right procedure to seek redress.

He explained that, an end to the strike would enable further engagement with the government representatives on the two main demands by the unions.

The Commission, he said, was looking forward to an amicable resolution within the one-week period given the two parties to deliberate on the issues.

“The Commission agrees that the unions may have some concerns but declaring and embarking on strike action is not appropriate.

We have asked that they call it off and continue engagement with the government immediately. They have one-week to report back to the Commission,” Mr Asamoah noted.

Currently, he noted that, the Commission had been made aware that the union was pursuing two main demands including the revocation of the appointment of Dr Eric Nkansah as Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and extension of service of the Deputy Director-General, Mr Boateng.

Mr Asamoah said the Commission was in expectation that the union would comply with the directive within the given period.

Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, said the government representatives sought the intervention of the NLC to expedite mediation on the issue.

He explained that, although deliberations were ongoing between the leadership of the unions and government representatives, it was necessary that the NLC intervened to end the impasse.

He assured that the government representatives would respect the directive by the NLC to continue and complete negotiations within one-week.

MrWireko-Brobbey said an end to the strike would ensure the resumption of teaching and learning in the various pre-tertiary institutions.

The leadership of the teacher unions declined to comment.

The NLC, on Tuesday, invited representatives of government and striking pre-tertiary teachers for a hearing in relation to the impasse between the two parties.

“With this intervention, the union is advised to stay all ongoing/intended action(s) and appear as scheduled,” a copy of a letter sighted Ghanaian Times stated.

The invitation comes after the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations referred the matter to the Commission for mediation.

The two parties were earlier expected to reconvene on Tuesday to continue deliberations after a similar meeting on Monday ended inconclusively.

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times yesterday, General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Thomas Musa said, the unions were unfazed by the decision to refer the matter to the Commission adding that “we are prepared to go before the Commission and put in our defence and demands.”

He however, noted that the decision was in bad faith because the two parties had earlier agreed to continue deliberations to find a common ground.

The three teacher unions including the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT) have been on strike since November 4, protesting the appointment of Dr Eric Nkansah as the Director-General of the GES and pushed for other demands.


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