GNAT boss waters down high hopes on pay rise

From Zambaga Rufai Saminu, Takoradi

MEMBERS of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) have been assured of the parity, equity and fairness that the single spine pay policy being implemented by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission would provide them.

Mr. Ahenakwa Quarshie, National Officer at the headquarters of GNAT, gave the assurance in Takoradi on Wednesday, when he addressed members of the association.

He cautioned teachers to handle their expectations with prudence, since the new pay policy was not being implemented by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, ostensibly to address all the challenges facing the teaching profession.

According to him, “Some people would gain, others would not gain, and others would lose,” Mr. Quarshie pointed out.

He said the new pay policy was carved by the commission to address the anxiety and complaints that had emanated from previous pay polices implemented by successive governments.

He assured teachers of the efforts being made by the top echelon of GNAT to support the implementation of the programme.

The core mandate of the single spine pay policy, according to the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC), was to ensure parity, fairness and equity in the salary structure of all workers in the country.

It would particularly, reposition and address disparity issues facing workers who were not well-placed on the salary structure.

The situation however, has not gone well with those who were to be engaged in what is termed as ‘grandfathering’ (for receiving more than they were supposed), causing an upheaval in the salary structure implementation process.

But, the GNAT boss said though some people were kicking against the implementation process, the FWSC, which is in charge of the implementation, was on course. “We are moving forward. I am not sounding political,” he stressed.

He said, for teachers, the methodology being used in the implementation was not only simple but accurate, because it would start from Certificate A, to Diploma and to first Degree.
Mr. Quarshie advocated strongly the need for swift changes to be made to the laws governing the implementation of the policies regarding salary issues, in order to streamline things, and make the work of all stakeholders simple.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr. John G. Amamoo, Regional Secretary of GNAT, revealed the challenges facing the teaching profession, particularly, in some of the districts in the northern and middle sectors of the region.

He mentioned Juaboso, Wassa Amenfi West, Aowin, and Akontombra among others. In these districts, he said, “It is indeed uncommon to see only one or two teachers manning a whole primary school.”

While these problems persist, he said, “Vacancies in the classrooms have assumed a dimension that is so disturbing and alarming, that the GES teacher-replacement system that leaves so much to be desired, should be reviewed or replaced with a better system, to address these problems.

Hundreds of representatives of GNAT, including some executives, attended the programme and took turns to share their views on the challenges facing them in their respective districts and postings.

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