The Ghana Education Service (GES) has for the second time suspended the GES-SIC insurance policy program for public school teachers across the country.
It said the suspension is only temporary until the end of August when it will be lifted.
At a press briefing to clarify some issues regarding the policy, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said all teachers were compulsorily put on the programme and so have up to the end of August to pick, fill and submit an exit form to opt out of the policy.
“As of 6th August, we have written formally to the Controller and Account-General to suspend the programme for August. We are suspending it for August. Subsequently, we will resume in September…All those who are not interested, we want them to come up and pick a form. After this month, any staff who does not come out to get his or name removed from the list, is deemed to be a member. However, at any point in time, if you want to exit, you can exit,” he said.
NAGRAT threatens strike
The National Association of Graduate Teachers, NAGRAT has threatened to lay down their tools if the Ghana Education Service, GES does not cancel the compulsory insurance fee charged teachers.
According to NAGRAT, teachers did not sign up for the 10 Cedis deduction from their salaries for the insurance policy.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on July 31, President of the Association, Angel Carbonu said if GES fail to halt the compulsory deduction they will lay down their tools.
“NAGRAT is appalled by the insensitive and heavy-handed approach the management of the Ghana Education Service is taking in the GES SIC life policy issue, the unyielding desire of management to impose an insurance policy on staff without their concern creat suspicion as to the real intention of the policy, even though teacher unions have made it clear that such a policy should be optional for interested teachers to apply, GES management thinks otherwise, NAGRAT see the compulsory deduction of the premium from teachers who have not applied to be part of the policy in July of 2019 as an attempt to bully teachers, we call on the GES to immediately stop the illegal deductions and refund all monies deducted to their owners by the end of August, if they do not heed to the advise, teachers will withdraw their services from the first of September 2019.”
The GES in a letter dated February 27, 2019, and signed by Director General, Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa urged the teachers who are not interested in the deal to fill an exit form available at all GES offices country-wide.
Under the policy, all teaching and non-teaching staff of the Service who die or suffer a permanent disability would be given a cover of up to ¢18,000 depending on the medical report.
Those who suffer illness such as cancer, stroke, major organ transplant and kidney failure would be given a cover-up to ¢9,000. A critical illness that renders a member totally and permanently disabled receives a full pay-out of ¢18,000.
For the monthly premium of ¢10 per month, there is a cashback of 10% if no claim is made within three years.
By Justice Kofi Bimpeh