The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is deeply concerned that the Government is deliberately allowing its dispute with unions representing public workers and teachers, over Government’s 2018 immoral and wrongful docking of salaries of their members, to linger on and on. All to the detriment of our students and national productivity.
This week marks the second anniversary since the salaries were docked and the Government continues to show absolutely no sign of good faith, or a desire to find a solution.
In the meantime, the teachers have maintained their work to rule position, impacting the many dynamic and healthy extracurricular activities they undertake voluntarily with the nation’s children. Added to that, teachers sacrificed selflessly as they were forced to adapt to teaching online (sometimes in-class at the same time) due to the impact of the pandemic.
This NDC calls on the Government, on this the eve of the presentation of its 2021 Budget, to recognise and value the importance of a stable industrial climate, where workers’ partner with the rest of the community for national development. It is not in our collective interests to continue with an industrial climate of discontent and disharmony.
The Government is clearly demonstrating and displaying authoritarian qualities as it ignores the teachers and public sector unions’ demand for reimbursement of their wages, wrongly docked. Government is satisfying its huge political ego at the expense of our workers.
On the contrary, NDC strongly believes that it is in all our interests for Government to mend fences with all public sector unions, especially in this critical period, thereby ensuring that a cohesive relationship exists among all sections of our society.
NDC notes the teachers’ position in their latest Presidential address, informing the Government that they are not prepared to give up their negotiated and agreed 4% salary increase for 2021, especially in light of Government’s continuing injustices.
Again, NDC calls on the government to extend the olive branch and bring an end to the contentious wages deduction of 2018. The best way to mend fences, is to refund all docked salaries AND abide by the 4% salary increase negotiated and agreed for January 2021.
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