The Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) says it will no longer tolerate the imposition of the Ghana Education Service (GES)-SIC Insurance policy on its members across the country.
“We call on the management of the GES to stop the illegal deductions for the SIC policy and refund what has already been deducted.
These wholesale deductions in the name of the GES-SIC must stop in order to maintain industrial harmony,” the General Secretary of TEWU, Mr Mark Dankyira Korankye, said at a press conference in Accra.
He stated that at the various regional conferences held in June and July this year, members agreed that once the policy was an insurance facility, individuals who thought it was good for them should be given the opportunity to subscribe to it, and not the wholesale imposition.
“What is surprising is that the consent of members was not sought in the first place to subscribe to the policy; they are frustrating us by continuing to make deductions from our salaries,” he said, adding that the union would advise itself next week at a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting if the deductions were not stopped.
Critical Support Premium
Another burning issue he said the union had was the exclusion of some categories of TEWU members from the Critical Support Premium.
“There has been a long standing debate between TEWU and GES Management regarding the eight classes of our membership who are not enjoying the Critical Support Premium, which pre-supposes that maybe their work is not necessary.
“But we believe that everybody's work is important in the education sector in general, and, therefore, we are calling on the government and the management of the GES to take steps to ensure that every member of the GES enjoys the Critical Support just as it has been done for civil servants,” he said.
Mr Korankye noted that there was a huge backlog of outstanding promotions in the service and that the management of the GES should fast-track the process to promote all those who were due for promotion.
He said the delay in promotion was really demoralising its members and that such an issue must be given the priority it deserved.
“What is disheartening is that for more than two years now members who have even received their promotion letters are yet to be placed appropriately on their new grade to enjoy whatever comes with the promotions.
We are eagerly waiting to be updated by the management of the GES on the proposed new modalities for promotions.
If such modalities are what will help to fast-track promotions, then the GES should quickly engage with all stakeholders to reach consensus on the mode of implementation,” he added.
He said it was just not acceptable that people would attend promotion interviews and pass and yet it will take more than a year for promotion letters to be issued to them.
Mr Korankye said another issue worth looking at was the increasing workload on members, with the implementation of senior high school double-track system.
He explained that the reduction in the vacation for third year students (they are expected to resume on August 19, 2019 to help cover the syllabus to prepare them for the final examinations) meant that from September last year, TEWU members had been working without break.
“Meanwhile, with this stress, when it comes to an incentive package for increasing work load, the government and authorities in the education sector tend to neglect the non-teaching staff or only give then a fraction of what goes to the teachers,” he said.