Teacher Unions in Ghana threaten to Withhold Regulator’s Fees Over Arrears

Unions in Ghana's Pre-Tertiary Education Threaten to Withhold Regulator's Fees Over Pension Arrears

Unions in Ghana's pre-tertiary education sector have threatened to withhold the regulator's fees starting in March 2023 if the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme (GESOPS) tier-two arrears are not paid in full by the end of February. The plan sponsors of GESOPS have advised the Board of Trustees to halt or withhold the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) fees until the arrears are cleared.

The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Thomas T. Musah, the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu, the President of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT-GII), King Ali Awudu, and the General Secretary of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), Mark Dankyira Korankye, signed the letter to the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, CEO of the NPRA, and the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service.

As of March 1, 2023, the GESOPS tier-two is in arrears of eight months, and the unions are demanding that the arrears be paid in full before the end of February. The unions have warned that if their demands are not met, they will take necessary steps to ensure that the NPRA fees are not paid starting from March 2023.

The GESOPS tier-two deduction is a mandatory contribution made by employees and employers into the pension scheme for the benefit of the employees. The arrears in question have accumulated over time, and the unions are concerned that the delays in payment will negatively impact the retirement plans of their members.

In response to the letter, the Ministry of Education has acknowledged the concerns of the unions and has assured them that the matter is being looked into with urgency. The Ministry has also urged the parties involved to engage in dialogue to resolve the issue.

The unions have stated that they are committed to finding a resolution to the issue and are open to dialogue with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that their members' pension funds are not adversely affected.
The withholding of the NPRA fees would have a significant impact on the regulator's operations, and it remains to be seen whether the GESOPS tier-two arrears will be paid in full by the end of February to avert the action threatened by the unions.

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