ATAG unhappy with teachers’ acceptance of 15% COLA other than salary increment
The 15 percent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) that teacher unions agreed to with the government, according to the All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG), should have been campaigned for instead.
According to the union, taking such action would have permanently improved teachers’ working circumstances.
Isaac Ofori, the union’s national president, told Citi News that the government might use the payment of the 15% COLA as a bribe to avoid meeting other important demands from teachers.
“What assurance is there that the government would expressly keep teachers on the COLA when it removes all other workers from it? We have lost the negotiations if instructors agree to a salary increase of five or seven percent.
The government has already given notice that it will suspend the 15% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for union members whenever the circumstances calling for it are no longer present.
In order to protect their members from the current financial difficulties, the various worker unions declared an indefinite strike in exchange for a 20 percent cost of living allowance.
However, the government and they agreed that starting on July 1, 2022, 15% of the stipend will be paid.
“Teachers are one of the most effective tools utilized in our country to demand the rights of workers. Therefore, if we are launching the strike, we ought to do so in support of something that is unique to us. Now that the situation has become more widespread, only organized labor is the focus of our concerns, bemoaned Isaac Ofori.
Bright Wereko Brobby, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labor Relations, discussed the potential for future non-payment of the allowance.
“We have agreed that the Cost of Living Allowance will be paid effective 1st July. As the name applies, it is an allowance which is a result of certain factors that have arisen in the course of the year so as and when these factors are no longer there, there will not be the relevance to still continue with it.”
Government and organised labour have agreed on a 15 percent cost of living allowance for members of organised labour.
Due to the nation’s current economic crisis, the various labor unions, including the four teacher unions, the Ghana Medical Association, and the Public Sector Workers Union, among others, sought payment of 20% of their base wages as Cost of Living Allowances (COLA).
Over the course of more than two weeks of negotiations, CCT, GNAT, NAGRAT, and TEWU were forced to take part in industrial action to press their demands.
However, during a crucial meeting on July 14, 2022, the parties agreed on a 15 percent COLA that will take effect retroactively on July 1, 2022.
We agreed with the labor unions that the COLA will be paid at the rate of 15% of base pay, and that the effective date for the payment of the COLA will be July 1st 2022, said Employment and Labour Relations Minister Ignatius Baffour Awuah while reading out the terms of the agreement.
We also decided that all ongoing and threatened industrial activities would stop immediately and that workers would resume their jobs.