Senior lecturer at the Accra Technical University, Dr. Daniel Osabutey, has advised the government and the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Dr. Eric Nkansah, to swiftly engage newly-posted teachers demanding that their unpaid salaries be paid.
In an interview with Samuel Eshun on the e.tv. show “Fact Sheet,” Ghana’s socio-political talk show, Dr. Osabutey expressed his disappointment over the situation of unpaid teachers in the country. According to him, it is very unfortunate for the government to recruit teachers and fail to pay them for their services.
This, he believes, has demotivated these teachers, making it difficult for them to deliver their best in the classroom.
Dr. Osabutey, who was once a union executive, stated that teachers only embark on industrial action when they have exhausted all internal channels and mechanisms. In this case, he believes that teachers have been left with no other option than to embark on industrial action.
“It’s very unfortunate that you’ve been recruiting teachers for so long and they’re not being paid.” Looking at the economic condition, we’re all going through this hardship, so how do you expect these unpaid teachers to survive? We should also understand that when you talk about teaching, about 70% of it has to do with encouraging students. “So how do you expect such people to be in the right frame of mind to give up their best,” he told Samuel Eshun.
“Definitely, once they are demotivated, they wouldn’t be able to deliver, and ultimately, it’s going to affect the delivery in the classroom and affect the students negatively.” I’ll urge the government to address this matter as soon as possible. “Sometimes, if you’re not privy to the details, you may think teachers are not sensitive to the plight of students, but I was a union executive years ago, and I can tell you that the last tool workers and particularly teachers use to make sure their grievances are heard is to embark on industrial action,” he continued.
Dr. Osabutey proposed that, even if the government is unable to pay all owed salaries, they should enter into some form of engagement and payment agreement compromise with the teachers to resolve the issue—for them to feel valued—rather than ignoring their struggles and making them feel underappreciated.
“For these teachers to come to the point of picketing, then it tells you that they have exhausted all internal channels and mechanisms. So they are left with no other option than the last, which is to embark on industrial action. I’ll rather urge the government to quickly invite these people, and even if you can’t pay all the salary for a year, then you can enter into some agreements and compromise, and they’ll understand. But if you don’t respond to their plea, it’s as if you don’t care what they’re saying.”
Dr. Osabutey’s comments come on the heels of a recent letter addressed to the GES by a group calling itself the “Coalition of Unpaid 2022 Newly Recruited Teachers” to enquire about their one-year salary arrears.
According to the group, it began working in February 2022 but has yet to receive a salary. They, therefore, pleaded with the GES to intervene on their behalf for processes to be expedited for onward payment by the end of February.