July seems to be an unending one for the government.
The myriad of disturbances in the labour space has worsened as deliberations so far are yet to yield the desired results.
The running theme in this latest series of agitations has to do with the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
It has become imperative as most public workers say the financial downturn in the country is leaving a burden too heavy for them to shoulder.
On the back of this, many of them – from the educational to health and other sectors – have threatened, while others have already laid down their tools until their concerns are addressed.
Below is a list of unions that have embarked on strike so far even as the government negotiates to get them back to work.
4. teacher unions
The educational sector saw the first major step which snowballed into what has become a full-blown industrial action.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) went on strike on July 5, 2022.
On July 12, a meeting between stakeholders and the government ended inconclusively for the second time as NAGRAT, GNAT walked out of the forum.
This has been compounded by the worsening food shortage crisis in senior high schools across the country.
Senior Staff Association of the Universities of Ghana
On Wednesday, Senior staff of the country’s public universities declared a strike action.
At a news conference, members of the Senior Staff Association of the Universities of Ghana were asked by their leadership to “go home.”
In addition to COLA, the Association is also unhappy that accrued interest on Tier 2 pension arrears has not been paid.
The members are also worried about what they describe as university salary disparities.
Apart from these organisations that have embarked on a strike, many others have served notices of their intention to follow suit in the coming days.
Over 27,000 public sector workers are on the verge of striking. The officials belonging to the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) are set to embark on industrial action on July 19, to demand their COLA.
The others include;
- Ghana Medical Association (GMA)
- Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives (GRNM)
- Health Services Workers’ Union (HSWU)
- Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA)
- Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG)
- Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU)
Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has already intervened in a stalemate between Organised Labour and the government over the demand for 20% COLA.
Speaking to JoyNews, the Executive Secretary, Ofosu Asamoah urged both parties to negotiate in good faith.
In another development, information available to JoyNews indicates a crunch meeting between the Acting Commissioner-General of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and some senior officers to avert a possible sit-down strike by the personnel.
The workers are already clad in red attire.
They contend that the refusal of MPS to seed 20% container business to GPHA had been having dire impact on the work constituent.
JoyNews also learnt that officials of the Transport Ministry are already at the premises trying to get the workers to get back to work while they deal with the matter.