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General News
Teachers issue ultimatum to government 9/28/2007
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has given the government up to October 10, 2007, to refund what it said was all illegal moneys deducted from the salaries of teachers else it will advise itself.

It also asked the government to stop such deductions forthwith "else we will advise ourselves as to the next line of action".

A letter dated September 26, 2007, signed by the General Secretary of GNAT, Mrs Irene Duncan-Adanusah, and addressed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, said "all attempts to seek redress have received no satisfactory response", hence the decision by the association.

A number of teachers have over the past couple of months been complaining of deductions from their salaries. According to them, the deductions were illegal because they were carried out without any authorisation whatsoever.

The letter from GNAT to Mr Baah-Wiredu, under whose sector the Controller and Accountant General''s Department (CAGD) falls, explained that under Section 69(2) of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), "an employer shall not deduct from remuneration due to a worker any amount whatsoever, unless the deduction is permitted by Section 70 or by any other law or by way of repayment of an advance of remuneration lawfully made by the employer to the worker".

It indicated that since April this year, the Controller and Accountant General''s Department (CADG) had continued to deduct moneys from the meagre salaries of teachers without any explanation.

A copy of the letter stumbled upon by the Daily Graphic said in April 2007, as many as 1,741 teachers suffered what was termed "Recovery of Tax Arrears and Overpayment Loan Recovery", and that "deductions against an individual could be as high as GH¢ 150 (¢1,500,000) for which no explanation could be given by the government agents.

As of September 2007, it said, the number of teachers who had suffered the arbitrary deductions had risen to 3,389 for the "Loan Recovery" alone not accounting for the toll for the "Overpayment of Tax Arrears".

The letter was copied to the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Prof Dominic Fobih, the Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Nana Akomea, the Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Samuel Bannerman-Mensah and the Financial Controller of the GES, Mr Charles Otoo.

The rest are the Controller and Accountant General, Mr Christian T. Sottie, the Consultant, CADG, the National President of GNAT, all regional chairmen and secretaries of GNAT and the Chairman of the National Labour Commission (NLC), Mr Joseph Ayittey.

Source: Daily Graphic

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