The National President of the Colleges of Education Non-Teaching Staff Association of Ghana (CENTSAG), Frederick Yeboah, has said that the Association will not suspend its ongoing strike anytime soon.

He said until the government is ready for positive negotiations, the Association will continue with its strike action.

Speaking on The Pulse, Tuesday, he noted that despite the stressful efforts and overtime duties by members of the Association, the government has not paid overtime allowances to members for over six years.

“Until we hear something positive from the government. When you go to the kitchen, the women in the kitchen wake up at dawn. Even when it’s during exams they have to sleep in the kitchen and make sure that these students are well fed. From 2016, no overtime allowance has been paid to the women in the kitchen.

The drivers that drive our principals around all over the country even at dawn, at nights no overtime allowance has been paid to them for the past six years,” he said.

The Association believes that the government has treated them unfairly as compared to the College of Education teachers.

“There should be some form of non-bias when it comes to non-teaching staff of colleges of education, this is what we are calling for…For the past six years we have been shortchanged when it comes to first-degree holder’s placement, when it comes to migration arrears, when it comes to payment of generic allowance and then payment of interim market premium, we have been shortchanged and colleagues, teaching counterparts are being paid,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Prof. Mohammed Salifu in an interview with Joy News’ Blessed Sogah is surprised by the Association’s stance.

He explained that the government-labour regulations mandate the Association to suspend its strike before negotiations can commence.

Prof. Salifu noted that his outfit has keenly been engaged on the issue and has made significant progress.

“GTEC in particular has been very sympathetic to the issues they have raised. They listed some five items from the press statement. Out of those five items, it’s only one that came out which is relatively new. For all those other four, we have made significant progress about them. About the wrong placement of first-degree holders, when they raised those points, GTEC was the first to support them,” he stated.

Regarding the issue about first-degree placement, GTEC said it has made recommendations to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to validate and resolve the issue.

“We made a recommendation to Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Commission indicated to them at the negotiation table that it was a matter that based on the GTEC’s recommendation, they were going to look into that and they needed up to the middle of March to validate what we have given to them so that they can clear it.

“As we speak now, Fair Wages has obtained the information they want and have addressed that. If CENTSAG had minded to attend the meeting we invited them to, they would have had this information and knew that Fair Wages was making time to validate the request. So that is not an issue as we speak currently,” Prof Salisu said on The Pulse.

CENTSAG is currently on strike in all forty-six colleges of Education over poor conditions of service and refusal to pay some allowances owed them.

The National Secretary of CENTSAG, Samuel Opoku, in an interview said only security personnel would be allowed to take their post during the strike action.

“We are embarking on an indefinite strike effective Monday, April 11, 2022. Our members comprising administrative staff, kitchen staff, and estate staff will all be on strike. We do a lot in support of the teaching service. At the moment, it is only the security that will be exempted from the strike because we have to protect lives and property even while we are on strike,” he told Accra-based Citinews.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.