Principals of the 46 Colleges of Education (COEs) in the country have been directed to shut down the schools indefinitely.
This follows the failure of tutors of the colleges to call off their over 21-days old strike.
The Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) is in the fourth week of an indefinite strike declared following the failure to reach an agreement with the government on the payment of their Interim Market Premium as well as Book and Research Allowances.
A meeting between CETAG and the National Labour Commission (NLC) last Thursday to resolve the impasse also ended inconclusively.
Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education (MoE), Vincent Asafoah, who confirmed the closure on Friday, November 30, 2018 to journalists, said the move had become necessary as it appeared to be the only way to resolve the stalemate between the agitating teachers and the government.
“CETAG is not ready to come to a compromise so the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has directed the principals of the colleges of education to relieve students to go home while negotiations continue”, he said.
The NLC was not able to end the impasse between CETAG and the government.
The NLC’s attempt at mediation was unable to compel CETAG to soften its stance as it prepares to enter week five of an indefinite strike.
CETAG’s demands over the Interim Market Premium have lso been described by the Education Ministry as unreasonable.
The NCTE warned that CETAG members would be denied their November salary because their strike was illegal.
CETAG also threatened to go to court to push for the closure of the colleges for the rest of this semester in line with the law governing the colleges, which states that colleges must be closed down and the semester annulled if academic work halts for more than three weeks.
The closure will affect all the 46 public Colleges of Education in the country.
CETAG defended its indefinite strike saying it has been in negotiations with the government since 2012 when the law was passed to give the colleges’ full tertiary status.
It has had five engagements with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission since the colleges were upgraded in 2016.
These engagements, according to CETAG, had not yielded any favourable result, and their members continue to be unfairly remunerated.
The ministry of employment and labour relations, said it was shocked by the Association’s move to embark on an indefinite strike.
Story: Franklin ASARE DONKOH
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