THE GHANA National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has demanded the withdrawal of an ongoing advertisement which seeks to create the impression that teachers are satisfied with the benefits they are deriving from the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).
The association also demands an apology without hesitation to teachers over what they describe as an obnoxious advertisement.
According to GNAT, the use of an unknown teachersâ€™ movement and a few unscrupulous members of the fraternity unknown to the labour front for the advertisement, smacks of diabolical intentions that must be condemned by the entire labour movement of Ghana and all Ghanaians who want the teaching profession to remain united.
The state-sponsored commercials are being run on state television networks and selected radio stations as part of governmentâ€™s information ministryâ€™s efforts to shore up what a broad spectrum of the population regard as the waning image of the political administration.
The commercials which dangle the achievements of the Mills/Mahama government have come under attack from various quarters as untoward especially against the backdrop of the Education Minister, Lee Ocran directive that teachers desist from using the classrooms for politicking.
The GNAT â€śstates emphatically that we are neither happy or enthused about the use of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) to highlight the achievement of the Governmentâ€ť adding that â€śpresenting the picture that teachers have been made better off as a result of the implementation of the new pay policy, we believe many will agree with us, is a highly debatable issue.â€ť
Continuing GNAT asked why government decided to choose teachers for the commercials when over 80 public service organizations and others are beneficiaries.
The advertisement besides causing embarrassment to teachers GNAT stated â€ścontains factual inaccuracies.â€ť Headmasters/head-teachers the association explained have for instance no allowance paid to them as stated in the advertisement.
â€śTeachers have only one allowance which is retention premium that has come to replace the professional allowance that existed before the implementation of the Single Spine. Teacher trainee allowance like any other trainee allowance in the public service has, however, appreciated,â€ť GNAT stated.
It disclosed that there are certain aspects of the new pay policy which have not been implemented like Categories 2 & 3 Allowances, Market Premium for teachers teaching critical subjects including Mathematics, Science, ICT, English and Linguistics, French and Votech and inducement premiums for teachers plying their trade in the under-served areas of the country.
â€śIn as much as we do not dabble in partisan political propaganda, we reserve the right to pass comments on issues like the one under review. We do not expect any political party, not even the ruling NDC government, to use this mischievous misrepresentation of facts to paint teachers in different colours to the whole world,â€ť GNAT cautioned.
In a related development President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Karbono has sneered at the advertisement as not representing the position of all teachers.
Speaking on an Oman Fm programme hosted by Fiifi Boafo yesterday morning he described the advertisement as not only misleading but inaccurate.
By A.R. Gomda