The Ghana Education Service has given striking teachers up to Friday to halt their action and go back to the classroom.

Failure to heed the direction would result in sanctions for teachers; this is according to the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Education Service, Charles Parker Allotey.

Teachers have been on strike over discrepancies in their salaries following their migration onto the new pay policy, the Single Spine Salary Structure.

A 15 percent retention premium was offered by the government to end the strike but some teachers who have formed a group calling itself the Coalition of Concerned Teachers has rejected it saying it is woefully inadequate and cannot provide teachers with any significant improvement in their living standards.

They called on their members to sustain the strike until the government responds more positively to their demands for better pay.

However, Mr Allotey who was speaking on Peace FM’s midday news explained that the GES, together with the two main teachers’ associations – National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) – have agreed that teachers return to the classrooms after various fruitful negotiations with the government.

“We have used our mandate as employers to tell our teachers that after having reached an agreement with the unions and going further to sit with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to rectify the anomalies…which resulted in the strike action, we don’t see that they have any basis to continue their strike action.

Mr Allotey indicated that the service has called on teachers to immediately report to work, stressing that “we’ve given them up to Friday to report…”

He pointed out that the GES does not recognise the Coalition of Concerned Teachers and would therefore not have dealings with them.

Mr Allotey accused leaders of the group of having a hidden agenda to pursue and that the group did not expect government to resolve the impasse this early.

He insisted the coalition has also tried to mislead other teachers to pursue the wrong cause but warned recalcitrant teachers would be identified since heads of schools have been asked to note and submit names of all teachers who refuse to report between now and Friday.

Story by Dorcas Efe Mensah/myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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