Four teacher unions in the country have commended the decision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to suspend the use of the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) to administer public sector staff payrolls, including that of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
The unions are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH).
A statement signed by Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, said the President instructed him to request the suspension of the HRMIS to administer the GES payroll until all issues relating to its use were resolved.
“The GES should, therefore, be taken off the HRIMS for now,” it said, adding that, “In the meantime, the Integrated Payroll and Payment Database Two (IPPD 2) should be reverted to in administering the GES payroll, pending the resolution of all HRMIS issues related to the GES.”
Following the new development, NAGRAT, which declared a strike over the issue, said it had called off its indefinite strike which started on September 5, this year.
The Vice-President of NAGRAT, Mr Jacob Anaba, told the Daily Graphic that the decision to suspend the HRMIS was a “good flavour”.
“We met with the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry, the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service (GES), the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the Public Services Commission (PSC) which use the HRMIS. We are hoping that with the return to the IPPD Two, within two months the issues we have raised in relation to the HRMIS will be addressed,” he said.
He said the council had been duly informed, hence the cancellation of the strike.
The Head of Compensation Department of GNAT, Mr Ahinakwa Quarshie, described the suspension as a good decision taken by the President, and added that it would help solve the problems the association had with the payroll.
He said, for instance, regarding promotion, about 32,000 members of GNAT were affected by the system.
With the current development, Mr Quarshie said the association would duly inform its members.
He expressed the hope that by the end of the next two months, members who were affected would have their issues addressed.
Regarding the threat of strike announced by the unions, the Vice-President of NAGRAT said now that the main cause of the problem had been suspended, the strike had also been cancelled.
“Effectively, it has been cancelled because that was the main reason why we came out with the threat. Once the Presidency has addressed that thing then it means that effectively we don’t have a case.”
For his part, the National Chairman of TEWU, Mr Peter K. Lumor, said asking the GES to revert to IPPD Two to do its promotions, salaries and related issues could not have come at a better time since its members across the country were affected by the introduction of the HRMIS.
“For us in the teacher unions, we think that it is a very wise decision that the President has taken and so we thank him for that,” he said.
“When you are on the table talking and the other member on the table is listening you can’t go on strike,” he said.
“The suspension is welcome news and we now turn to the GES to input our salary arrears, recruitment, promotions, upgrading and whatever,” the President of Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), Mr King Awudu Ali, said.
He said more than 10,000 of the CCT members were affected by the challenges created by the HRMIS.