NAGRAT Suspends Strike Over Arrears
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has suspended its strike in protest of the non-payment of arrears following a meeting with the Finance Ministry.
The strike was in effect for five days.
When the strike was announced on Wednesday, April 4, a deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei-Asare, accused the association of showing bad faith.
It had emerged that the government had in a letter dated 29th March 2018, released over 40 million cedis to settle arrears owed 2,566 of the teachers.
NAGRAT responded by saying that the GES staff whose salary arrears were going to be paid formed a negligible fraction of the total number of teachers who were owed.
But after the meeting on Monday afternoon, NAGRAT’s President, Angel Carbonu, indicated that recent developments have seen the association soften its stance.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr Carbonu said some teachers have “had alerts of monies paid into their account.”
Aside from this, he also said a schedule for payments provided by the Controller and Accountant General had given substance to the promises from the government.
“We’ve also agreed that in May  over 10,000 teachers will be paid and the Controller and Accountant General furnished us with the data of those who will be paid. After that payment, a meeting will be held for us to continue the schedule of payment for those who are left,” Mr Carbonu explained
Succumbing to promises?
When accused of acting in bad faith by the government, Mr Carbonu notably said his association would not rely on just promises despite assurances that money had been released.
But defending the change of mind, he explained that “the difference was that last week, she [Abena Osei-Asare] was talking in respect of 2,566. Today I am talking in respect of over 15, 000 upwards where we have a scheduled plan of payment.”
Mr. Carbonu stressed that the strike had only been suspended and not called off.
He warned that the teachers will lay down their tools if the government does not honour its pledges.
“Assuming going forward, all that I told you has been reneged on or violated, that will be a breach of trust or a breach of faith and it will contravene the understanding that we have arrived at today. No one will expect a vibrant union such as ours to lie down without any action when that happens.”