THIS OUR GNAT! ASEM ARA NKO
I wonder why many teachers would jump quickly to the defense of GNAT when matters of reality and importance take the center stage. Perhaps these teachers have their own view of assessment but clearly majority of teachers think otherwise.
Many defense put into place include the fact that GNAT is a bargaining power union and also their ability to give loans to their members.
Well, to the best of my knowledge GNAT doesn’t negotiate for salary increment for teachers neither do they go to bargain anything on behalf of teachers. Organized Labour (TUC) does of which GNAT may be represented. That’s general for all workers. Besides, GNAT’s loan facility is not far fetch from that of GCB and ADB (others unions are even far better), just a slight edge.
We all know what they can do best, sit in their posh offices and lord over teachers. Many GES offices are filled with GNAT apparatchiks whose work is to promote GNAT at all cost to maintain status quo.
There’s nothing unique about GNAT and what they do. We know they have big offices across the country, hostels and conference halls and Bayport financial services. They have the killer hire purchase and the habitat loan. They also have the cancer fund and other things that remain only with only the top executives.
Among the above mentioned facilities, most teachers are more familiar with the GNAT TF loans. The hire purchase is a killer and that of the habitat loan very unreasonable. Cancer Fund is off gear, how many teachers in a decade suffer from that deadly disease. One in thousands.
Sarcastically, teachers can only afford the student bed rooms when they patronize the GNAT hostels. The other executive suite rooms are machinery for making money.
We continue to ask, with membership of 220,000, what major contributions do GNAT contribute to the betterment of our profession.
They will only organize big executive meetings and annual conferences and think only about making GNAT a strong institution, how they can bully other organizations and how they can empower district directors and other top officers to intimidate and bully teachers.
Matters of core importance do not bother them and even if we are lucky for them to declare a strike, it will not live up to expectations.
All top GES headquarters officials are GNAT members and that makes it very incongruous. GNAT is in bed with GES and MOE and they pretend they are independent.
With over 220,000 membership, we expect our dues to be reduced to some ¢10 or ¢5 because that will be enough to run the administration of the union. Every salary increment means increment in dues for GNAT members automatically. This year 2020 had seem 12% increment in salary and automatically our dues had jumped from ¢29 to some ¢35 or more depending on your net.
We are fed with the dairies and calendars, clocks and 2gig pendrives, Chinese bags and other mediocre items.
GNAT promises us of pension package with investment with the mutual fund while we need money now to accomplish our aspirations in life. The purpose for this investment has been defeated by the recent SSNIT pension scheme. What most teachers must note is that 20yrs from now, ¢30,000 won’t be any money any pensioneer should boast of. The future is now. Interest rate on loan is 16.6% annual aside charges and nearly 50% in three years. Teachers Fund (TF) is a financial institution working under pretense for GNAT manned by technocrats who are paid good salaries.
Well, if GNAT is GNAT we teachers have made them. The whooping monopoly they enjoyed sometimes ago had made them albatross around our neck and it is becoming nearly impossible to deal with their menace or do away with them. They will continue to fatten themselves for century if this chain of institution remain unbroken.
NAGRAT, CCT and ATAG are also on the radar. If even 100,000 teachers leave GNAT and join these ones, it will weaken their arsenals and decentralize their power. Sometimes, the other unions want to strike but GNAT shadow is umbra over them. It all boils down to numbers. Teachers front is never divided as the picture is being painted out there, it’s GNAT which makes things look so because they fear to grow lean. They want to enjoy the cheap monopoly unabated.
Teachers, we already know our source of predicament in our profession. I’m only drawing your attention to the fact that it’s time for us to think twice about this “Our GNAT” and how we can gradually wean ourselves from her poor breastfeeding.
GNAT in the Merriam-Webster dictionary means “a small fly that bites people and animals”.
The bite is definitely contagious but we pretend we don’t have a choice or alternative.
A word to the wise is enough.
Long live Teacher Unionism!
Long live Teachers!
(Teacher for Life)
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