GNAT, NAGRAT and other teacher unions declare strike effective today

The three major teacher unions in the country, namely the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), and Teachers & Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU), have laid down their tools effective Monday, July 4.

Thomas Musah Tanko and Angel Carbonu

The withdrawal of service was announced by the leadership of the unions in Accra on the above-mentioned date.

The General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah Tanko, made the declaration, asking all teachers to abide by the collective decision to stay away from the classrooms until their demands are met by the government.

The latest decision follows an ultimatum given by the unions to the government up to the end of June this year to grant a 20 per cent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to the over 240,000 teachers nationwide, failing which they would advise themselves.

According to GNAT, the government’s failure to address their demands continues to make life difficult for teachers in the face of economic hardship and paltry salaries.

The strike action will be a big blow to the Akufo-Addo-led NPP government, which is already struggling to get control over the country’s economy, a situation that necessitated the seeking of a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

On July 1, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo instructed the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to engage the IMF for a bailout.

According to a statement signed by Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, President Akufo-Addo had a telephone conversation with the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund.

The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s buildback in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, more recently, the Russia-Ukraine crisis, according to the statement from the presidency.

This is the second time Ghana is seeking support from the Bretton Wood institution in seven years after the country engaged them in 2015 under the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama’s government.

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