After teacher unions’ meeting with the government over (Cost of living allowance) COLA negotiation ended inconclusively, Tuesday, July 12, 2022, has been slated for both parties to reconvene for further discussion.
In a press statement dated July 8 and copied to AcademicWeek, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations said the government has taken note of the demand by the teacher unions for a 20% Cost of living allowance (COLA).
“Government is committed to engaging organised labour to find lasting solutions. The government has appealed to the teacher union to call off their ongoing industrial action,” the Employment Ministry said in the press release.
In a related development, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare has said the central government will require about GH¢ 840 million to pay 20% COLA for striking teachers from July to December 2022.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast show monitored by AcademicWeek, he said the ongoing strike action will affect academic work, especially ahead of the 2022 edition of the BECE and WASSCE for School Candidates examination.
“I think the timing of the strike is not the best for the calendar of the pre-tertiary sector. Covid-19 already derailed the academic calendar, such that the academic year now starts in January instead of September.
BECE and WASSCE are at the corner, and having a strike at this time can affect the conduct. WAEC relies on teachers for invigilation, and it will be impossible to hold the examination,” the EduWatch Director told the host of the Citi show.
Considering the negative impact the strike will have on the 2022 academic calendar, Mr Kofi Asare has called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, try to meet the demands of the teachers halfway, so they can return to work.
“What government is saying now is it does not have money. Taking that posture won’t help matters. It will not help calm nerves. We need to do all we can to preserve the academic calendar
It is important that government at least offers the teachers something in the interim. If negotiations lead to the government proposing a little over 10% and not the 20%, that will help,” the Education policy analyst stated.