Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah

Government is expected to meet teacher unions and other labour groups today, July 12, over their demand for a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

The crunch meeting aimed at convincing the pre-tertiary teachers will be attended by the Finance, Employment and National Security ministers.

Four teacher unions have laid down their tools following government’s failure to pay the allowance for them, which they say could have helped to mitigate the impact of the rising cost of living.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and other labour groups are also demanding 20% of their basic salary as COLA.

Despite a plea by President Akufo-Addo to reconsider their stance, the unions maintain they will not back down on their demands.

“We are still on strike; we have not called off the strike. We are happy that we’ve been invited for a discussion on Tuesday [July 12].

“We are hopeful that we will have something tangible to send to our rank and file, and call off the strike,” the Gender Coordinator for the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Rebecca Ocran Abaidoo, told JoyNews.

The National Association of Registered Midwives-Ghana has become the latest labour group demanding COLA for its members.

According to the General Secretary of the Association, payment of the allowance has been delayed.

“Things are not as they used to be; we are all experiencing hardship. When it was demanded, we realised that the government will pay – once the government pays, it goes to all public sector workers from which midwives nationwide are part.

“But we have waited and not heard from the government…government should pay the COLA as soon as possible,” Harrison Ampaabeng said.

Meanwhile, the Public Services Workers Union has served notice it will embark on strike on July 19 over the matter.

It says payment of the COLA has become necessary due to the worsening economic conditions in the country.

General Secretary of the Union, Bernard Adjei, says it is unfortunate that government has turned a deaf ear to their concerns.