The Western Regional Secretariat of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has threatened to lay down its tools on July 5 if the government fails to grant the Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) to its members at the end of June 2022.
The Regional Secretariat at a press conference this morning registered their strongest displeasure with the Government of Ghana over the deafening silence and apparent disinterest in the call for payment of Cost of Living Allowance to public sector workers.
According to the teachers, the Ghanaian teacher was under pervasive economic hardship and has had to literally live from hand to mouth owing to the high cost of living and the paltry take-home pay that can barely take them to the door of their homes.
Mr Justin Nelson, Western Regional Chairman of NAGRAT who presented a speech on behalf of the Secretariat indicated that Ghana’s annual inflation rate accelerated for the 12th consecutive month to 27.6% in May 2022 from 13.9% in January, representing about 14% variation.
This, he contended, is the highest inflation rate since January of 2004, in part due to a weaker cedi struggling to come at par with the dollar, with prices of imported goods skyrocketing daily and more than the domestic ones.
He added that the introduction of a 1.5% tax on electronic payments (e-levy) which was approved by Parliament in late March also added to the inflationary pressures compelling the rank and file of its members to call for positive action.
He said such astronomical increases in the components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has eroded the negotiated 4% and 7% salary increase for public sector workers in 2021 and 2022 respectively and for that matter, teachers and by extension Ghanaian worker have thus been lost in a quagmire of financial constraints and in dire straits.
“We wish to state without any scintilla of equivocation that its members have had it up to here in the face of the excruciating economic conditions in the country and cannot wait any longer for a concrete solution to this economic paralysis bedevilling the country at large”, he stressed.
He recounted that the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on 2022 May made a special request to the government to grant the Cost of Living Allowance of at least 20 per cent to all public service workers after NAGRAT, GNAT, CCT and TEWU had made similar requests in November 2021.
“The Western Regional Secretariat of NAGRAT by this press conference is serving notice to the government that, the collective ineptitude towards the call for the payment of 20% CoLA to the suffering Ghanaian teacher is leaving leadership with no alternative than to respond to the incessant demands of members”, he warned.