RESPONSIBILITY ALLOWANCE FOR THE BASIC SCHOOL TEACHER (A Letter to Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Education And All Educational Stakeholders)
The Basic School teacher has for far too long been marginalized and denied the right to responsibility allowance. Currently, it is only Heads of Basic Schools that receive responsibility allowance.
Basic School Teachers also perform additional responsibilities aside from their role as teachers. Some of these responsibilities include School Health Education Program (SHEP) Coordinators, Guidance and Counseling Coordinators, Sports instructors, Class/Form masters, and many more. No allowance is paid to teachers who perform these extra duties.
According to Section fifteen (15) Clause thirteen (13) of Collective Agreement for Teaching Staff within the Ghana Education Service (GES) signed in August 2020, (SECTION 15.13. States, on Additional Duty Allowance ‘’Additional duty allowance, shall be paid to an employee who is asked in writing to take additional responsibility for a position other than his/her own for more than twenty-one (21) days. An employee shall only take up additional responsibility for a job which is at the same level that he/she is currently holding’’) these additional duties attract allowance once the officer performing it is at the rank of Principal Superintendent and above.
Second cycle teachers with additional responsibilities are given appointment letters to that effect by their Headmasters (See attached is a copy of an appointment letter for the second cycle teacher) and these letters are used to process their responsibility allowance.
It is required also of District/ Municipal/ Metropolitan Education Directors to issue letters to Basic School teachers who qualify per their rank to be processed to receive allowance for additional duties performed. Unfortunately, District/ Municipal/ Metropolitan Education Directors are not exercising this power to facilitate the process that will help the Basic School Senior Staff to get what is due them with regard to responsibility allowance.
It is very heartbreaking to know that the Basic school teacher performing the same duties and of the same rank or even above a colleague in the second cycle is denied what is clearly due them according to section 15.13 of the Collective Agreement for Teaching Staff.
There is clearly an oversight or an error or better still a deliberate attempt to deny the Basic school Senior staff from enjoying the responsibility allowance and I think the teacher unions must go back to the drawing board to correct issues, other than that they would be clearly working against Section fifteen (15) Clause thirteen (13) of Collective Agreement for Teaching Staff within the Ghana Education Service (GES).
It is very unfair when some weeks ago the Ghana Education Service (GES) released a circular with Ref. No. GES/HQ/HRMD/SEC/21/011 (Copy attached) on the requirement for payment of responsibility allowance, the Basic School Senior Staff Teachers performing same responsibilities as that of their second cycle colleagues was not considered.
So the issue is why the Senior Professional Teaching Staff at the Basic level denied allowance which is clearly due them?
I think it would be in order if a dialogue is initiated on the issue raised, so that District / Municipal/ Metropolitan Education Directors begin to issue written official letters of appointment to Senior staffs at the Basic Schools which could be used to process their responsibility allowance to address the issue once and for all.
Since Local Conferences are almost done throughout the country, I would humbly appeal through this letter to the rest of the Locals who have not done their conferences, the Districts, Regional and National to factor in their Resolutions, the plight of the Basic School Teacher on Responsibility Allowance, because we are the root of the Association and must be treated well.
Sir, the denial of the Basic School Teacher from what is rightfully due them is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. I humbly request that the powers that be do due diligence as it is better late than never.
This letter brings to the attention of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) whose aim is to fight for the equal rights of all members, according to our constitution, for review and necessary action to accord the Basic School Teacher who is considered a Senior Staff their right.
Counting on your usual co-operation.
VINCENT B. ATTAH
(Nsawam Local – GNAT