Members of the Brong-Ahafo Regional branch of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), have threatened a seven-day strike.

They contended that the non- commitment of government to use dialogue to resolve issues affecting them had necessitated the strike.

Mr Jacob Anaba, Regional Chairman of NAGRAT, announced this at a press conference in Sunyani.

He outlined one of their concerns as the poor handling of the Second Tier Pension Scheme of Ghana Education Service (GES) workers.

Mr Anaba explained that the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) handling the Pension Fund of GES workers, was not a fund manager, but their core mandate was to regulate the scheme.

?They have no business arrogating to themselves the work of Pension Fund Managers, and be investing workers money in cheap investment portfolios.?

Mr Anaba said the attitude of NPRA and government had dire consequences, because those due to retire from active service next year under the new scheme, were likely to lose most of their contributions.

Another concern was the three-month arrears payment policy, a directive issued by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, stating that arrears beyond three months would not be paid.

Mr Anaba said the implication of the directive meant newly recruited teachers who worked for a year without salary would be paid only the first three months of their arrears and the rest forfeited.

He explained that teachers whose promotions and upgrading were delayed through no fault of theirs, would be paid only three months, no matter the delay in processing their documents.

Mr Anaba appealed to GES to adhere to rules and regulations governing the staff rationalization exercise.

He said transferring teachers without guarantee of their transfer grants, was an infringement on their rights, and stressed that transferring teachers without laid down formalities, allowed transfers at the discretion of headmasters and district directors.

?This will create room for abuse, witch- hunting and corruption,? he added.

Mr Anaba urged GES to call headmasters and district directors undertaking the exercise to order, until the system was sanitized and prepared for the exercise.

In addition, the GES and the Controller and Accountant-General?s Department should iron out all administrative and bureaucratic bottlenecks to avoid undue delay, to ensure speedy processing of documents and validation of inputs.

Other concerns raised by the teachers were taking away tax exemption on cars imported by teachers, allowances for teachers in Colleges of Education, and the un-supportive nature of GES management. GNA

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