In recent times, Ghanaian educators have witnessed a disheartening pattern: the repeated declaration of strikes by teacher unions, followed by abrupt cancellations without significant gains for their members. The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-GH) have all participated in this cycle, raising concerns among stakeholders about the effectiveness and commitment of these unions to address the legitimate grievances of their members.

The primary purpose of a union is to advocate for the rights and well-being of its members. However, the frequent flip-flopping of GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT-GH on-strike actions undermines the credibility of these organizations and erodes the trust of their constituents. When these unions declare a strike to demand better conditions of service for teachers, only to call it off prematurely, it sends a message of weakness and ineffectiveness.

Teachers in Ghana face numerous challenges, including inadequate salaries, poor working conditions, lack of professional development opportunities, and limited access to resources. These issues have been longstanding, yet the responses from teacher unions have often fallen short of achieving meaningful change. The recent episode of declaring and then abandoning strikes without tangible results only exacerbates the frustration felt by educators across the country.

One of the most concerning aspects of this situation is the lack of transparency and accountability from GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT-GH regarding the decision-making process behind the strikes and their subsequent cancellations. Members deserve to know why their unions back down from their demands and what concrete steps are being taken to address the issues at hand. Without clear communication and accountability mechanisms, the unions risk losing the support and confidence of their members.

Moreover, the inconsistency in the approach to addressing teacher grievances weakens the bargaining power of these unions in negotiations with government and education authorities. If GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT-GH cannot demonstrate a unified front and a steadfast commitment to advocating for teachers’ rights, they are unlikely to achieve meaningful concessions from relevant stakeholders.

It is time for teachers in Ghana to demand better from their unions. GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT-GH must be held accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, in advocating for the interests of their members. This includes greater transparency in decision-making processes, more assertive negotiation tactics, and a genuine commitment to seeing through the demands made on behalf of teachers.

Furthermore, teachers themselves should actively engage in the union’s activities, hold their leadership accountable, and participate in collective action to demand the improvements they deserve. By standing together and demanding accountability from their unions, educators can reclaim their agency and ensure that their voices are heard and respected.

In conclusion, the repeated cycle of declaring and abandoning strikes by GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT-GH is unacceptable and undermines the integrity of teacher unions in Ghana. These organizations must demonstrate greater transparency, accountability, and commitment to advocating for the rights and well-being of their members. Teachers deserve better, and it is time for the unions to deliver on their promises and effect real change.

Signed

William Boadi
Executive Director of Educate Africa Institute (EAI), Educationist, and Political analyst.
+233541935106

EAI: Promoting Quality Education, and Ensuring Social Justice.