The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has rejected plans by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to deduct 10 percent from salaries of teachers and staff living in government bungalows as rent charges.
The GES in Western Region on March 11, announced its plan to deduct 10 per cent of salaries from occupants of government bungalows as rent charges.
The circular from the GES stated that the deductions will take place effective March 1, 2022.
However, GNAT in responding to the directive from the GES in Western Region said “any attempt to implement this would be resisted fiercely and the industrial peace we are enjoying on the educational front could be jeopardised.”
According to the Association, the directive is unfortunate and against the spirit and letter of a collective agreement enacted between GES and teacher unions in August 2020.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to remind the Ghana Education Service of Section 21(i) of the Collective Agreement, 2009 which deals with Staff Accommodation and states, without equivocation, that Headmasters, Assistant Headmasters, Senior Housemasters, Housemasters, Principals, Vice Principals, Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Frontline ADs and Guidance and Counselling Officers in 2nd Cycle institutions shall be provided with free residential accommodation (emphasised), and that, where there is no residential accommodation, the Service shall be responsible for the rents of the officer(s) concerned. The same shall apply to Directors at the District, Regional/Divisional levels,” GNAT said in a statement.
GNAT in furtherance of its resistance drew the attention of the GES to section 19 of the Collective Agreement in August 2020 on staff accommodation which states that “accommodation may be provided for the following category of staff: Headmasters, Assistant Headmasters, Senior Housemasters, Housemasters, Principals, Vice Principals, Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Frontline Deputy Directors and Guidance and Counselling Officers and Chaplains and Imams in Second Cycle Institutions”.
The Association cautioned that if the GES intends to renege on the stipulations in the 2020 Collective Agreement, it would not succeed since that would amount to a ‘breach of Union trust’ and an ‘unfair labour decision’.
The 2019 Auditor-General’s report indicated that for the outstanding rent in the Ghana Education Service (GES), there are 59 tenants who have defaulted the 10 per cent rent payment.
Out of the number, 9 of the defaulters are from the Headquarters of the GES, 5 from the Eastern Regional Education office of the GES and 45 from the District Education Office in Donkorkrom.
The report also pointed out that a total amount of GH₵111,032.25 is owed as arrears by the Ghana Education Service as of 2019.