The National President of the Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education (PRINCOF) believes that the annual mandatory leave teachers in the 46 campuses have embarked on is a strike in disguise.
Speaking on The Probe on JoyNews, Dr. Emmanuel Nyamekye said that leadership of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) asked its members to proceed on leave without prior approval from PRINCOF.
“It is unfortunate the stance taken by CETAG. It is a strike in disguise. If it is not a strike how come a union will direct its members, all of them at the same time, to go on leave? It’s mind-boggling. I have been working since 1991 and it has never happened.”
Dr Nyamekye stated that CETAG’s actions are ridiculing colleges of education across the country; adding that “it is not right and they should stop it. They make us look like we are some advanced JHS but that shouldn’t be the case at all.”
His comment comes a week after all teachers in the 46 public Colleges of Education who are members of CETAG proceeded on leave from September 1, 2022. They are expected to take their 28 days of annual leave and return on October 10.
This follows a press statement in August 2022 issued by the association demanding their full conditions of service and other compensatory packages.
The group gave the government up to August 31 to address their concerns. It is therefore believed that this action is in protest against the government’s inability to meet their demands.
Among other things they are protesting the new academic calendar which they say puts them to work from January to December with no breaks in between.
Meanwhile, Dr Nyamekye stated that CETAG could have laid their concerns on PRINCOF and further discussions and actions could have been taken.
“We thought that we have been in this together and so if there is anything they want to do, appropriately, they should have informed us (PRINCOF). Let us know what the issues are so that together we can address these issues, but that wasn’t what happened,” he said.
He stated that some members of CETAG are unhappy with their leadership, hence the mandatory leave they want their members to go on is not as effective as they make it seem.
However, quoting the Harmonised Conditions of Service for the Colleges of Education, CETAG’s National President said that it was not mandatory for teachers to seek permission before embarking on leave.
On the show, Prince Obeng-Himah said that “following redesigning of the academic calendar after COVID-19, it became such that academic work starts from January to December. The same teachers will have to teach throughout the year without any form of break.”
He stated that CETAG was not informed or consulted during the design of the calendar even though they were the ones who are supposed to teach.
“There is no way somebody will be able to work throughout the year without break, we are working to push Ghana’s agenda forward but we are not working to kill ourselves. We need to survive and we also have families,” Mr Obeng-Himah added.
Meanwhile, Dr Nyamekye noted that PRINCOF will have a meeting with the leadership of CETAG to discuss the way forward.
“We hope they will come and attend that meeting so that together we see how we can iron out these issues,” he said.