The Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union, TEWU of Trades Union Congress, TUC (Ghana), commended Ghanaian workers for going all out to sustain national development efforts in the past years.
On the occasion of Workers’ Day, TEWU observed that the situation was even more dire last year with the havoc wrought on the global economy by COVID-19; but with all this, workers are still the pillars in getting things back on track.
Hence, TEWU is urging government and its agencies to appreciate the havoc wrecked by COVID-19 and not do anything against the interest of workers’ unions to disturb the industrial harmony prevailing in the country.
“It is in this regard that we call on government to be proactive by exhibiting frankness, openness and trust in negotiating outstanding issues with labour unions to forestall turbulence on the labour front; and in order not to further worsen the situation created by COVID-19,” according to a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr. Mark Dankyira Korankye
One noticeable impact of COVID-19 on the labour front was the suspension of most negotiations for review of conditions of service for public sector workers.
“It is the position of TEWU that negotiations pending in this new normal era of COVID-19 should not give government and its agencies any ego to try and take workers for granted – as displayed by the attitude that creates comments like ‘This is what we can offer you, take or leave it’.”
“What we want government and its agencies to note is that a well-motivated workforce is what guarantees quality service delivery and enhances productivity,” the statement further noted.
TEWU thus expressed the frustration of its members over the delay in implementing reviewed conditions of service for GES staff, describing it as further foot-dragging that will provoke workers.
“TEWU would like to state emphatically that it is unhappy with the way some GES Directors want to use rough tactics by holding unto the old conditions of service – with the excuse that they do not have the signed hard-copy of the reviewed document, though the soft-copy of the document is available.
“We must state that the outbreak of COVID-19 has stretched workers all over to their limits, and any attempt to prevent them from enjoying what their national leaders have secured for them under the reviewed conditions of service will provoke anger and create tensions on the labour front.”
TEWU further notes that some stakeholders’ attitude toward non-teaching staff is disheartening.
“One such case is how the Professional Development allowance announced last year by the former Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh – and re-stated by the president during the State of the Nation Address, is yet to be paid to non-teaching staff, though their colleagues in the teaching category were paid in November 2020.
“We want to reiterate that the intentional or unintentional side-lining of issues which concern non-teaching staff is unhealthy for the education sector, as both teaching and non-teaching staff play complementary roles in ensuring a conducive teaching and learning environment.”
Another area of concern to TEWU on this memorable 2021 May Day is the non-conclusion of negotiations on the conditions of service for the public universities.
Leadership of TEWU would like to assure all rank-and-file members of the Union that there is hope of bringing finality to the conditions of service issue for the public universities in the coming days.
TEWU also says it is expecting the National Tripartite Committee to fast-track the process for necessary upward review of salary for the year 2021.
“Prices of goods and services are increasing on a daily basis but salaries have not been increased, and it is putting pressure on our members.”