Accra, June 28, GNA - The National leadership of the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union, (TEWU) has called for further engagement with government on the deduction towards the proposed SIC Life Insurance policy for the Ghana Education Service staff.
Management said it had learnt about deduction of GH¢10 from members’ salaries towards the insurance policy.
The Union assured members that no policy aimed at enhancing their welfare would be implemented without their total participation and buy-in.
In a statement signed by Mr Augustine Saakuur Karbo, the General Secretary of TEWU and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, the Union said, it was good to have a better welfare package for its members, but that should be done through active engagement with the entire membership before the introduction of major policies aimed at improving on their conditions of service.
“It is in this regard that the leadership strongly protest against the sudden decision of the GES to start deductions from members’ salaries under the GES-SIC Group policy, when the union is yet to engage its members at the Regional, District and local levels.”
The statement said TEWU and other teacher unions at earlier meetings before the sudden deductions, proposed to the Ministry of Education and GES management that there should be sustained awareness and sensitisation of all workers to buy into GES-SIC Group policy.
This, Union believed that, subscribing to the policy was voluntary and people needed to be educated on it so that they could make their own decisions.
Mr Karbo said TEWU leadership understood the anger of its members when the deductions started with their June salary without any awareness creation for members to be abreast of the group insurance.
“We blame this unfortunate situation on the management of GES for going ahead with the deductions without final agreement with the union to set the target date for the commencement of the deductions”.
It said following the public anger from its members, a meeting was held on June 26, 2018 with the Minister of Education and the Director-General of the GES, where they registered their protest that the deduction cannot continue without education and sensitisation of our members.
He said the Union had asked that they halt the process of further deductions until they engage the rank and file of the TEWU to know those who would be willing to sign unto the policy since it was optional.
“We will not condone any action that can short-changed in the implementation of any welfare benefit whatsoever, because the leadership will always act in their best interest so they should stay calm”.
Mr Karbo assured members that the leadership would work closely with SIC and the GES to organise forums in the regions and districts and local level, to address concerns of members to appreciate why the policy was being initiated.
The Union was of the view that the GES-SIC group insurance policy was optional and government had made it clear they have a commitment to better the welfare of workers in the country and through the various Agencies and Ministries.
“This is an optional one, that if you are prepared to contribute 10 cedis, as a worker with the GES, government will contribute 10 cedis, making 20 cedis. Although, it is a good policy which has been initiated for educational workers, it is important that due process is followed before deductions take effect”.