Pre-tertiary teacher unions on July 4, declared an indefinite strike action with immediate effect, following the failure of government to pay the cost of living allowance (COLA) they asked for.
The implication is that all academic activities in the pre-tertiary institutions, from primary, Junior High School (JHS) to Senior High School (SHS) are, by that move, crippled and brought to a halt
46 worker Unions, have given the government one week to address its concern or else, it will embark on strike. This is followed by the Public Services Workers Union, which is set to strike from July 19 to demand a 20 percent Cost of Living Allowance.
Various groups, including the Union of Professional Nurse and Midwives have also joined calls by some public sector workers for the government to pay them the 20percent allowance.
Pre-tertairy education is a very critical arm of the sector that must not be toyed with or treated with levity.
We do not want to begin to contemplate the likely effect of a strike by nurses and midwives based on past experiences.
We are concerned that this planned strikes and threat of strikes is coming at the time the government had declared its intention to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In our opinion, this is beginning to seem like a vicious arm-twisting strategy with the intention to blackmail the government into submission.
Although, we have our reservations about strikes as instrument of addressing issues in labour relations, but we are persuaded by the reality on ground to see reason with.
Much as this newspaper disagrees with governments near insensitivity towards the welfare of Ghanaian workers generally, we do not think that crippling the economy, including education, health sectors, will add any value to whatever it is the workers are angling for.
Government, on the other hand is spending money on frivolous and self-satisfying ventures, such as the National Cathedral and the renting of luxurious private jets for the president’s comfort that would have no benefit to the average citizen, workers are being left to suffer with only occasional handouts.
Strike as an instrument of blackmail is primitive and condemnable.