The General Secretary of Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU), Mark Korankye, has announced that the strike by the union has been suspended following the commencement of the negotiation process by the committee that was formed to look into their demands.
In an interview on Wednesday, January 5 after a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Ministry of Education, and the Ghana Education Service (GES) that “The bottom line is that we want the good for our members, that is why we are having to take this decision to suspend the action that has embarked upon just this morning so that the committee can start work.
”As per the labour laws and the Labour Act, you cannot negotiate whiles you are on industrial action and that is why leadership thinks that if management now is willing and ready to accept the committee and make the commitment to work, then it is appropriate for us to also put on hold this action, give ourselves some time within which we expect that the green light will be given for our members to benefit from what they have been denied of all these while.
“They should not call off the strike, they should suspend the action. Suspension in the sense that we have the potential of resuming if nothing comes out of the committee’s work, that is why we call it suspension.”
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations had earlier announced that the leadership of TEWU had agreed to suspend its strike immediately for negotiations to resume.
After the meeting, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour relations bright Wireko Brobbey told TV3 reporter that “We have had a very constructive engagement. A very high-powered delegation from their employers is the GES and the Ministry.
“TEWU also brought their chairman, their General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary. We have looked at the issues. The bottom line is that they have agreed to it as tradition demands they have to go back to their NEC, they have to have that meeting to suspend the strike action because a committee has already been put in place looking at the issues at hand.
“So, they have assured us that is what they are going to do. By the close of the day, we should see the strike action over. GES has also promised that once that is going to happen, they are then going to meet tomorrow morning and TEWU has been invited to come and meet them for the committee to start work and look at how best to go about the issue and if there is any payment that is due them it will be affected.”
Over 35, 000 members of TEWU withdrew their services from today.
They were demanding the payment of 600 cedis for each professional development allowance.
At a news conference in Accra on Tuesday, January 4 General Secretary of TEWU, Mark Denkyira Korankye said, though the schools were re-opening today there would not be caterers to cook for the students.
“We went to the Ministry of Education, we have written and given all the justifications that are required.
“The Minister said we should liaise with the Ghana Education Service management, we have engaged them. In fact, in the wisdom of the management of GES, they said let us put together a technical committee to look at the issues and give appropriate recommendations.
“This was supposed to have been completed in September last year. We are in January 2022, the committee has not even met let alone to make a recommendation for its consideration. so we feel that this foot-dragging is on purpose, maybe to deny our members of this right and that is why we think that we must push and move to the next step where that one will compel management to sit and conclude any discussion with us on this matter.”