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Friday, March 24, 2023

NAGRAT strike continues despite Akufo-Addo’s plea

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) will not be calling off its strike action despite President Akufo-Addo’s plea.

Speaking on The Probe on Sunday, NAGRAT’s Gender coordinator, Rebecca Ocran Abaidoo said that the association is happy to have been invited for negotiations on Tuesday.

“We are hopeful that we would have something tangible to send to our rank and file so that we would call off the strike. (But) We are still on strike and we have not called off the strike,” she said.

Madam Abaidoo explained that even though the President had called on them to return to the classrooms, there is a need for broader consultations with leadership and members of NAGRAT.

She stated that “we just didn’t arrive at this position”, hence the strike cannot be randomly called off.

“We have heard His Excellency but we need to consult our rank and file,” she said.

On Monday, all four pre-tertiary teachers unions declared a nationwide strike demanding a 20% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) because high inflation, high fuel costs, and high prices for goods and services have eroded their salaries.

Following the strike action, President Akufo-Addo urged striking teachers to return to the classrooms pending the outcome of ongoing negotiations.

Speaking at this year’s Eid-ul-Adha national prayers, he noted that the troubling economic situation the country is experiencing is such that every citizen, especially organized labour would have to make some sacrifices.

He appealed to the teachers unions to return to the classroom to allow negotiations on their demand for cost of living allowance to continue.

Meanwhile, the Public Sector Workers Union (PSWU) is also pleading with the government to heed their call for support amid the current economic crisis in Ghana.

Also speaking on the Probe, the General Secretary of PSWU, Bernard Adjei, noted that workers are struggling to cater for themselves, hence their demand for a cost of living allowance.

“We believe that we can always put ourselves together and honour the demand of workers because things keep getting worse by the day. How long can workers survive this? All we are asking simply is that cushion workers, things are hard.”

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