The Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) on Tuesday expressed worry over policies for improving the welfare of players in the education sector, which favour only the teaching staff, with non-teaching staff becoming an after-thought.
The Union stated that the non-teaching staff plays critical role in ensuring conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning, as well as quality service delivery in the broader education sector and that their concerns must also be of priority.
This was in a statement signed by Mr Mark Dankyira Korankye, the Acting General Secretary of TEWU.
The statement said the membership of TEWU had exercised patience for the past eight months, with the expectations that pertinent issues raised in a number of petitions would have prompted urgent attention from government.
Given details on the issue, it said in August, 2018, an advisory group within TEWU called “Ghana Education Service (GES) Think Tank,” held extensive deliberations with the Union leadership and members, where a number of recommendations were made to the Government, through the GES and the National Council for Tertiary Education.
Among the recommendations was the need to recruit more non-teaching Staff to supplement the few staff who had to endure health challenges because of the extensive workload, following the introduction of the Double Track System, with the resultant increase in student population.
The statement said the non-payment of the Critical Support Premium to all non-teaching staff was not helping members as they were an integral part of the teaching and learning environment playing a complementary role.
“It is unfortunate that since TEWU petitioned the Ministers of Education, Employment and Labour Relations on the matter, nothing has been done to ensure that all non-teaching staff are paid the premium instead of a few, creating disaffection and apprehensions among members,” it added.
The statement said TEWU was opposed to the unilateral deduction from members’ salaries for the GES/SIC Group Life Insurance Policy and proposed that the Policy should develop modalities where staff, who are interested, could complete a contractual agreement form for monies to be deducted for that purpose.
“We are again reminding GES and SIC to refund deductions made from June, 2018 and any other months to our members as we do not subscribe to the advertisement being run by the GES and SIC on the proposed policy.”
The Union also expressed concern about the undue delay in releasing the Tier Two Pension Fund to the GES Occupational Pension Scheme so that the Board of Trustees could invest prudently as the first batch of beneficiaries of the lump sum pension were due for retirement in January 2020.
“It is the expectation of TEWU that by the end May 2019, the government and its agencies, would help resolve the concerns of the non-teaching staff and ensure that their concerns receive proactive attention, to prevent any industrial action”.