The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) says a group calling itself Progressive Teachers and Youth Alliance (PROTAYA) lack the technical know-how and knowledge to criticized their Association. They are reacting to a statement put out by the group criticizing them on some issues which the group think is irrelevant for them to use members dues for.
Below is the full statement from GNAT detailing how and where members dues are channel to.
I wish in all sincerity to ignore the ‘mushroom’ release by a group named Progressive Teachers and Youth Alliance (PROTAYA). In my opinion, this group lacks the technical know -how and knowledge to criticize the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT). This is because certain issues raise in their release shows that, the group lacks credibility and fundamental knowledge about GNAT and its Constitution. If you claimed to love the GNAT so much to the extent of releasing statements, please take time and educate yourselves by glancing through our Constitution.
To set the record straight, the GNAT Constitution does not recognize any group called PROTAYA in our structures. PROTAYA as a group do not have any legal basis to question or warn the GNAT Leadership in anyway or form. How sure are we that those releasing this statement are even GNAT Members? How sure are we that you are not preparing fertile grounds to form your own Association like others did? How sure are we that you are not being sponsored to dismantle our ranks? We leave these mind boggling questions to our members and the general public to answer.
The GNAT rides on three broad legs on which our funds are disbursed every year. These are a Professional Development ,
b. Trade Union
c. Socio – Economic and Welfare functions . According to Article 37 of the GNAT Constitution,
1. The annual budget of the ensuing financial year shall be prepared by the finance and administration committee and submitted through the national executive to the national council, which shall approve and report to the national delegates conference.
2. The annual subscription paid by members of the association shall be distributed as follows:
i. Local Grants 5%
ii. District Grants 16%
iii. Regional Grants 3%
iv. Professional Development &
Membership Education 7%
v. Death and Retirement 25%
vi. Investment 3%
vii. Reserves 3%
viii. Capital development 4%
ix. General administration 34%
3. The allocation for 34% to general administration made under 37(2) (ix) above shall be further distributed as follows:
i. Staff salaries and allowances 20%
ii. Headquarters expenses including capital outlay, meetings, 10% conferences, e.t.c, as shall be approved in the budget
iii. Grants to regional branches as:
a) Equalization grants 2%
b) Grants based on numerical strength of teachers in each region 2%
4. The existing formula for distribution of revenue may be amended by the National Executive subject to approval of the National Council to meet changing circumstances and priorities.
It is significant to note the following:
a. that years back, GNAT Souvenirs were sold to members.
b. that the distribution of free souvenirs to GNAT members started only in 2013 when the National Council of GNAT decided one month of our dues of which each member pays GHC19.41 should be set aside for souvenirs.
c. that the GNAT has a Committee in place that recommends and facilitate the procurement of these souvenirs base on the funds available.
d. that the Committee’s recommendation goes to the National Officers, the National Executives and the National Council.
Our fore bearers toiled and strived for GNAT with their sweat and money to bring the Association to its current status. Unfortunately majority of them are not alive to enjoy the fruits of their labour. PROTAYA as responsible and more current as they are could not recommend at least a ‘pin’. The dues members pay are disbursed based on the three core mandates of the Association as stated above.
ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY
1. The GNAT believes in democratic principles and transparency.
2. We are also aware that the general membership of our association, the Executive, Council, the Labour Department, Government and the general public are all interested in the finances of the GNAT.
3. In fact, Section 94 and 95 of the Labour ACT provides for Accounting for Union funds. Therefore Article 36 of the GNAT Constitution provides clearly for the Administration of the GNAT Funds.
4. GNAT Accounts is also guided by the Consolidated Financial & Administrative Regulations manual and Accounts Manual.
5. Yearly Audited Accounts and Budgets are presented to National Council. Currently ERNST & YOUNG is the firm that audits GNAT Accounts.
6. All Districts and Regional Chairmen, National Officers and National Executives are part of the Council. They are always given hard copies of audited accounts of the Association. They also approve or reject the financial year’s budget if they are not convinced.
7. Decision making in the GNAT starts from the Schools/Office, Local, District, Region to the National level. That is how our accounts are also presented.
8. Your Local, District and Regional Executives are supposed to brief you on the accounts of the association.
What GNAT Dues are used for?
– Resolving personal cases Eg. Police Arrest, Wrongful Dismissal e.t.c
– Training of full time staff
– Training of elected officers
– Providing Legal Services to our members
– Organization of various in service training for members Eg. GNAT/CTF Workshop (This year, three(3) Regions of about 1250 teachers benefitted), Promotion Workshops , Preparing Retiree’s etc
– Sponsorship of subject teacher associations with the GNAT Dues
– Other professional development programs Eg. Early Childhood workshops for Pre –School teachers, teachers being trained on how to write books, Dream Oval ICT Project e. t. c
– Production of books for members Eg. Elected Officers Handbook, Beginning Teachers Handbook, Policies of GNAT, Publication of the GNAT Constitution, Newsletters e. t. c
– Monthly Payment of Death/Retirement Benefits to members
– Referral Classes for teachers who failed their exams at the colleges of education
– Special Donations to teachers who request for financial assistance
– Production of GNAT ID Cards
-Cancer Foundation NB: Apart from the amount (GHC2.00) you pay, GNAT adds more money to the fund
– Yearly Women Empowerment programs (GNAT LAS)
– The on-going construction of GNAT Village Project at Abankro
– Annual Celebration of World Teachers Day in all Districts and Regions
– Organization of National Council, Regional Council, District Council and all other meetings/conferences
– Administrative Expenses in all GNAT Secretariats in the country. Eg. Fuel, Utility, Stationery, Salaries for full time staff, e.t.c
It is important to note that about 96% of the activities listed above happens either on monthly or yearly basis and still counting.
GENERAL SECRETARY’S COMMENT
The General Secretary’s statement on GTV was misinterpreted. What he actually said was that when the school pupils are failing it makes negotiations very difficult. He therefore admonished all members to do their best genuinely despite the very difficult situations members find themselves in their line of duty. It is therefore unfair to twist his statement to create disaffection for the CEO of GNAT. In fact it’s on record that the GNAT called on the Government to provide Teaching and Learning Materials and improve the classroom environment. Recently, GNAT threatened to call a strike action if Government refuses to pay termly feeding grants to Second Cycle institutions. The GNAT is aware that without these Grants, the schools cannot operate effectively thereby affecting Academic work.
I call on our members, the media and the general public to ignore this PROTAYA group. I will advise members who are interested in GNAT Finances and its accounts to
1. attend GNAT meetings organized by the Locals, Districts and Regions.
be informed that decision making in GNAT is not on Social Media.
3. desist from releasing ‘mushroom’ statements to run the Association down without following due process.
Finally, we welcome all who genuinely wish to channel their energies to the development of GNAT
to be circumspect in their criticism like our fore bearers. We are in a small World…..
MR. EMMANUEL KWABONI TREASURER
GNAT DANGME WEST