Striking where it hurts: the political economy of graduate teachers strikes and labour relations in Ghana’s public education sector

2017-12-19 10:43:14 Viewed: 244 Downloads: 74
  • Striking where it hurts: the political economy of graduate teachers strikes and labour relations in Ghana’s public education sector

      Akwasi Kwarteng Amoako-Gyampah

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    Pub: 2017-12-19 10:43:14

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  • This article examines the 2005 and 2006 strike actions of the National Association
    of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT). It seeks to investigate the root causes of teacher
    grievances during the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s administration;
    government responses to these agitations; and, finally, to highlight significant
    contours of the political economy of labour relations in Ghana’s public education
    sector. It is demonstrated that, among other things, it was the lackadaisical
    attitude of government, the Education Ministry and the Ghana Education Service
    in resolving the teachers’ grievances that resulted in the 2005 and 2006 strikes.
    I also argue that the posturing of the government and its institutions in resolving
    the teacher’s grievances, once the strike had started, entrenched the attitudes
    of the striking teachers and prolonged the strike action. Government’s failure
    to stifle teacher’s discontent and find an amicable settlement resulted in legal
    pressure and threats of dismissal aimed at compelling the striking teachers to
    end their action. Government also attempted to drive a wedge between NAGRAT
    and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) by hiding behind the
    technicality of the use of the collective bargaining certificate in the education
    sector, and presented the strike action as a rift between GNAT and NAGRAT,
    rather than between NAGRAT and the government. Furthermore, government
    sought, subtly, to pitch the public (at least its sympathisers) against the striking teachers by constructing the strike action as politically inspired to discredit its
    administration. Primary sources used for the article were drawn from personal
    interviews, newspaper reports, observations, and official union documents,
    which include letters, memoranda and press releases

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  • Keywords

    Ghana, Ghana Education Service, Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers, strikes, teachers’ unions


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