The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) will, tomorrow, Wednesday, September 11, meet the National Labour Commission (NLC) over the four-day-old nationwide indefinite strike.
The meeting follows an invitation by the NLC to NAGRAT to immediately call off the strike and appear before it tomorrow.
The President of NAGRAT, Mr Eric Angel Agbe-Carbonu, told the Daily Graphic that the association would appear before the NLC.
He, however, noted that the strike would still be in force, reports Emmanuel Bonney.
“We have received a letter from the commission and we will appear before it on Wednesday. We will not call off the strike before appearing before it,” Mr Agbe-Carbonu told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
He said the association would go before the NLC with the same issues it raised at its press conference held on Thursday, September 6, 2019.
“In any case, the NLC has invited us and it should tell us why it has invited us,” he said, adding that “if it is on the issues that we raised, then we will just repeat them to the commission”.
NLC is aware
Asked why NAGRAT did not notify the NLC before embarking on the industrial action, he said the NLC had had the notice from the association and sat on its cases and so it would be difficult for it to say that it was not aware of NAGRAT’s issues.
“On Wednesday when we go to the meeting, we will prove to the NLC that we have raised the issues and it has sat on them before,” he said.
Mr Carbonu said it was his expectation that the commission would address the issues the association raised, since it was its job to resolve labour conflicts.
The outcome of the meeting, he said, would determine whether or not the association would continue its action.
“When we get there, the situation will determine our response,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, members of NAGRAT in the Upper East, Northern, Bono, Ashanti and Central regions have laid down their tools.
Some members in the Ashanti and the Central regions are, however, still at post and carrying out their normal teaching duties.
Also, because academic activities are yet to begin fully in some schools, the effect of the strike is not being felt everywhere.
From the Northern Regional capital of Tamale, Samuel Duodu reports that the strike has crippled academic activities in senior high schools (SHSs) in the capital.
A visit to the Tamale SHS (TAMASCO), Tamale Girls’ SHS, Kalpohin SHS, Ghana SHS (GHANASCO) and the Northern Business SHS (NOBISCO) by the Daily Graphic revealed that academic activities were at a standstill.
When the Northern Regional Chairman of NAGRAT, Mr Mohammed Saani, was contacted, he said members of NAGRAT in the region were all on strike.
In the Upper East Region, checks by the Daily Graphic revealed that teachers at the Bolgatanga Girls’ SHS, the Bolgatanga Technical School, the Zamse Senior High Technical School and the Zuarungu SHS had all laid down their tools, reports Vincent Amenuveve.
There was no activity in the affected schools as of the time of the visit yesterday morning.
The Regional Chairman of NAGRAT, Mr Samuel Atompoya, told the Daily Graphic that until the government addressed their grievances, the members would not teach.
He said to ensure that the strike achieved the needed results, he personally went round some of the schools in the Bolgatanga municipality and the Bolgatanga East District to ensure that teachers complied.
From Sunyani, Emmanuel Adu-Gyamera reports that although members of NAGRAT at the Sunyani SHS had heeded the order to go on strike, the action was not being felt by the school.
The Sunyani Municipal Zonal Chairman of NAGRAT, Rev. Stephen Acheampong, who is also a teacher at the school, told the Daily Graphic that currently classes were not effective, since only SHS Three students, who formed a third of the school’s population, had reported for academic work.
“The truth of the matter is that we are on strike, but since academic work is currently not effective, nobody realises the effectiveness of our action,” he stated, adding that the strike would be felt when all the students were in school.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Nsiah Agyapong, corroborated Rev. Acheampong’s assertion and expressed the hope that by the time effective academic work began, the problem would have been resolved to ensure that the academic calendar was not affected.
From Kumasi, Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor reports that the strike is yet to have any serious effect on academic activities in schools in the metropolis.
At the Kumasi Anglican Secondary School (KASS), the Headmaster, Rev. Canon Senkyi, told the Daily Graphic: “Fortunately for us at KASS, we do not have any of the unions here. We don’t have CCT, NAGRAT or GNAT. All we have are KASS teachers and they are all at post.”
At the T. I. Ahmadiyya SHS (T.I. AMASS), an official who declined to give his name, said although the school had some NAGRAT members of staff, teaching was going on smoothly.
“We went round this morning on an inspection and teaching was going on in all the classes we visited,” he said.
In the Cape Coast metropolis, the effect of the strike is mixed, reports Shirley Asiedu-Addo.
While some teachers of SHSs have joined the strike, others have not.
Some members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) have joined the strike in solidarity with NAGRAT.
A teacher who spoke to the Daily Graphic said although he was a GNAT member, he had joined the strike in support of NAGRAT.
“We are all teachers and if the conditions are good, they benefit all of us,” he stated.
At the Christ the King Academy, some teachers were in school, but students were seen studying on their own.
At the Ghana National College, teachers were at post and teaching.
“We know we are on strike but here we are teaching. We will see how it goes,” one of them said.
The Headmaster for Mfantsipim School, Mr Manfred Barton-Odro, said all teachers in the school reported for a workshop yesterday.
“They are in school and I hope classes go on tomorrow. Everyone of them has reported,” he said.
But the Central Regional Chairman of NAGRAT, Mr Augustine Pennin, said the executive members had met and agreed that all members would lay down their tools.
“The strike is on. No headmaster can query any teacher for not teaching. We are urging all teachers to join the strike,” he said.
“We want the government and the whole country to understand our frustration. We want the government to succeed and the GES to thrive, but not at the expense of the well-being of the teacher,” Mr Pennin added.