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Stay off our pension funds in revised debt restructuring – GNAT warns gov’t

Mr. Thomas Tanko Musah, the General Secretary of the National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has emphasized that the group will stand by its agreement with the government that teachers’ pensions will not be subject to any debt restructuring plans.

Members of the association, according to Mr. Musah, are not aware of any government plans to present a different offer that would let trustees to incorporate pension funds in the government’s debt restructuring program.

Following a series of meetings, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, encouraged the Board of Trustees of pension funds in a letter to permit the inclusion of such funds in the government’s new planned debt restructuring package.

But speaking in an interview, Mr Musah said there needs to be a distinction between organised labour and the various schemes that make up organised labour so as not to mistake utterances by a scheme to mean the position of organised labour.

“Two quick things must be placed on record; a distinction between organised labour and individual schemes. For example, if a union leader is invited to go and have negotiations or discussions with the government, that union leader went there not on behalf of organised labour but went there on the back of his scheme, and to the best of my knowledge, organised labour has never had any engagements with the committee regarding any haircut or a second round of negotiations and so the individuals that went to engage the committee went there in the name of their scheme and cannot speak for organised labour”.

“When the person goes there in the name of their scheme, the person cannot speak for organised labour because the agreement we have is between the government and organised labour so to that extent, no individual can go there and have discussions on behalf of organised labour without recourse to the very body that took the decision.”

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