The government has directed the immediate release of ¢1.79 million to teachers after reaching an agreement with three unions which had threatened to strike over the payment of their arrears.
The agreement was announced by Labour Minister, Haruna Iddrisu after a crucial meeting with leaders of the unions who had vowed to strike after March 29 if the ¢15million arrears from 2012 to 2015 are not paid.
The Government through the Ghana Education Service (GES) had insisted it does not owe the teachers. The GES had alleged that some 4,000 teachers in the system were working with fake certificates.
But in a quick u-turn, Iddrisu told journalists the concerns on salary arrears of the teachers are “legitimate”.
The Minister, however, insisted there are ghost names on teacher payroll which needs to be sanitised for a “better and cleaner payroll”.
As part of the agreement clinched with the teachers, the government is to see to the cleaning up of the payroll so it can determine the exact number of teachers who need to be paid the 2013, 2014, and 2015 arrears.
The government has four more days to complete the work of validating the identity of several thousands of teachers before the threat of a strike can be completely removed.
Despite clinching a first-round victory, the leaders of the teachers say “it is not yet time to rejoice”.
“There is no room for rejoicing until the team comes out with a report.”