The Ghana National Teachers’ Association (GNAT) says it will resist any attempt by the government to touch teachers’ funds.
“We wish to make it clear to the Government of Ghana, that it should address the economic challenges facing the country, not at the expense of the Ghanaian workers and the general population,” it said.
An official statement issued in Accra and signed by Mr Tanko Musah, the General Secretary, said prudence in government expenditure, thrift, and reduction in the size of government, among others, could all go to address the country’s economic woes.
It said its attention was drawn to the announcement by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on Monday, December 5, inviting eligible bondholders to exchange approximately GHC 137.3 billion of the domestic notes and bonds of the Republic. ESL PLC and Daakye Plc, for a package of new Bonds to be issued by the Republic, (with) terms and conditions of the invitation.
The statement said: “GNAT is an interested shareholder in the Domestic Bond Market, running the Teachers Fund with its subsidiaries, the tier-3 pension scheme, and the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme (GESOPS) for its members.
“We wish to state categorically, that these are bold steps and initiatives taken by the Association to better the lives of its members (teachers) in active service, and retirement, taking cognisance of their salaries, which are nothing but pittances and crumbs from the master’s table, and do not take them home, and the state of melancholy and abject poverty in which they live, given the sorry pension paid them by SSNIT,” it added.
The statement said GNAT had initiated the aforementioned financial schemes to make its members live meaningful lives.
“It will therefore be suicidal for any government to touch our funds and unruffled our teachers financially, both in active service and retirement.
“Pursuant to this, we wish to state unequivocally that we are not interested in any exchange of domestic notes and bonds of the Republic be it ESLA Plc, Daakye Trust Plc, and our stance is non-negotiable,” it added.
It, therefore, informed its members that the leadership of GNAT has not been invited to any discussion on Domestic Debt Exchange and their stance remained unchanged and further assured them that their contributions and savings were intact.
“Leadership of the Ghana National Teachers’ Association, GNAT, finally sound this note of caution, that contributions and savings of teachers should not be touched, that failure to heed to this caution will throw the country into industrial disturbances,” it warned.