COLA: Striking teacher unions stage walkout during meeting with gov’t
A meeting between the government and the striking teacher unions has ended inconclusively for the second time.
During the meeting, the government asked the teacher unions to call off their strike before negotiations begin, but the teachers remained adamant and subsequently staged a walkout.
The leadership of the unions spoke to journalists about their decision to walk out.
“They are not ready to welcome us to this meeting, and we cannot begrudge them, and that is why we are walking out,” a leader of one of the unions explained.
“They are asking us to call off the strike before negotiations begin, which means the government side is not ready to continue negotiations unless teacher unions call off the strike. They have held all of us hostage. Since we are undesirable,” another complained.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobby said the meeting ended inconclusively following teacher unions’ failure to call off their strike.
“We were expecting the teacher unions to call off the strike because the labour law does not permit engagements when one party is on strike or lockout… We are constrained by the law not to negotiate when one party is on strike, so organised labour suggested that we adjourn the meeting and do more negotiations.”
The teachers are fighting for the payment of between 20% and 30% of their salaries as a Cost of Living Allowance.
The allowance according to the teachers will cushion them from current economic conditions and the worsening plight of teachers.