Don’t touch teachers money, we are not interested in any debt restructuring – GNAT warns Gov’t
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has given the government notice that they are not interested in debt restructuring, as announced by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta.
The leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, has finally issued a warning that teachers’ contributions and savings should not be touched, and that failure to heed this warning will cause industrial unrest in the country.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has been drawn to a document from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-government Addo’s titled initiation of domestic debt exchange dated 5th December, 2022, according to a statement released by Mr. Thomas Tanko Musah, General Secretary of GNAT.
According to GNAT, the Republic of Ghana, per its announcement on Monday, 5th December, 2022, inviting Eligible Holders to exchange approximately GH137.3 billion of the Republic’s domestic notes and bonds, ESLA PLC, and Daakye Trust Plc, for a package of New Bonds to be issued by the Republic, (with) the terms and conditions of the invitation (as) described in the memorandum dated Monday, 5th December, 2022, and
He noted that the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is an active participant in the domestic bond market, administering the Teachers Fund, as well as its subsidiaries, the Tier-3 Pension Scheme and the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme (GESOPS) for its members.
Mr. Thomas Tanko Musah wishes to state unequivocally that the Association has taken bold steps and initiatives to improve the lives of its members (teachers) in active service and retirement, taking into account their salaries, which are 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 pitiful pension paid to them by Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT).
“We have initiated the aforementioned financial schemes to make our members live meaningful lives. It would therefore be suicidal for any government to touch our funds and unruffle 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.”
“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. Prudence in government expenditure, thrift, reduction in size of government, among others could all go to address Ghana’s economic woes.”
“We hereby inform our members (teachers) that the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, has not been invited to any discussion on Domestic Debt Exchange, and our stance remains unwavered.”
“We wish to assure them further, that their contributions and savings remain intact, and that we shall fiercely and vigorously resist any attempt to touch the said contributions and savings by Government under any Debt Exchange, Debt Structural Adjustment or whatever measure which would short-change our members, both in active service and retirement.” The Association said.