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Organised labour downplays relevance of SONA in addressing economic challenges



Organised labour says it has no hope in the State of the Nation address to be presented by President Akufo-Addo.

Leadership of labour cited economic challenges coupled with high taxes and prices of goods which it says have “chiseled out” the total earnings of workers.

They spoke exclusively with 3news labour correspondent in Accra during which they recounted the current economic conditions affecting workers.

They cited the depreciation of the cedi and weak macro-economic fundamentals, which have affected salaries.

Although the government, after negotiations with labour, adjusted salaries by 23%, labour is of the view that the increase in taxes has reduced the value of the meagre earnings of workers.

President Akufo-Addo is expected to present his last but one State of the Nation address on Tuesday, February 27.

But the leadership of organised labour says the address will not resolve the economic challenges being faced by workers.

Meanwhile, unions in education are asking President Akufo-Addo to indicate other sources of funding for the free SHS programme.

Speaking ahead of the State of the Nation address on Tuesday February 27, the leadership of the unions, GNAT, NAGRAT and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association expressed concern that inadequate funding has resulted in infrastructure challenges and the non-payment of capitation grant.

The government has expended over seven billion cedis on the free SHS programme since 2017 to date. But the allocated amount has failed to address challenges affecting the education sector.

Currently, issues about the capitation grant have been in arrears for more than three terms. Non-payment of transfer grants and subscriptions for the schools have yet to be released. Some 20 percent of the allowance for teachers in deprived areas has not been paid.

Ahead of the presentation of the State of the Nation Address on February 27. Unions in education, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana CCT, are calling for other sources of funding for the policy.

The unions also called for stakeholder consultations on the policy.

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