Amend GNAT constitution to give voting rights to all GNAT members
A group of teachers known as General Voting Advocates in GNAT (GVAG) has called for an amendment in the GNAT constitution to voting right to all members to elect all GNAT executives at all levels. A press statement signed by the lead convenors and shared with Educandghana.net stated that the purpose of the petition asking for voting right for all GNAT members and not delegates, which has been the case is to hold the leaders of the association directly accountable to ourselves and also reduce the perceived manipulations and corruption that go along with the existing election system/process and even the perceived general corruption and mismanagement of the association’s funds. According to the members, the current GNAT Executives have failed when it comes to accountability to their members.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
AMEND GNAT CONSTITUTION TO GIVE VOTING RIGHT TO ALL GNAT MEMBERS TO ELECT ALL GNAT
EXECUTIVES AT ALL LEVELS
We the members of Amend GNAT constitution movement wish to inform and remind our colleagues’ GNAT members, sister association members, and all pre-tertiary educational institutions about our impending petition to GNAT secretariat asking for voting rights for all GNAT members in good standing to elect Gnat executives at all levels, from local up to national level. In line with this agenda, we would need full participation and/or support from all our colleague GNAT members especially during the nationwide signing of the petition which we expect to begin before the middle of this month September 2021. The purpose of the petition asking for voting right for all GNAT members and not delegates, which has been the case, is to hold our leaders directly accountable to ourselves and also reduce the perceived manipulations and corruption that go along with the existing election system/process and even the perceived general corruption and mismanagement of the association’s funds.
ACCOUNTABILITY: In any organization Where leaders balance, proper accountability always union. The vast majority of GNAT members have almost zero öpportunity to attend District, Regional, and national delegate conferences in order to hold their leaders accountable by way of voting; passing the right resolutions, and asking the right questions for the right answers, etc. But this is not so because of some sections of the GNAT constitution. GNAT is a union where less than one thousand members (1000) in the name of delegates go to elect national leaders on béhalf of the association mémbership of about Two Hundred And Fifty Thousand less than 0.4% of total national membership. unfortunately, these delegates vote base on their personal interest and not and not the interest of the members they represent which is so sad. At the local, district, and regional levels the issue is the same. We believe strongly that the GNAT constitution has given room for the inability of GNAT members not being able to hold their leaders accountable. Apart from the voting and accountability issues, there are other equally important issues which are core mandates Of GNAT as a teacher union but they always fail members on such serious issues. Among some of these issues are:
Issues regarding partial withdrawal from the Teachers Mutual Fund, the interest rate on Mutual Fund loans, Continuous increase of GNAT dues, provision of paraphernalia, and an attempt to increase cancer dues.
Upgrading/promotions: GNAT is aware that upgrading and promotions in GES have become very difficult. You’ll apply for upgrading and it will take GES about two years before they grant that. Most teachers are due for promotion but GES has intentionally created a backlog in the system to delay teachers of their promotions. In all these delay tactics, when GES finally decides to upgrade/promote, GES wouldn’t put such teachers On their new ranks/grades with the right salary scale and pay them immediately. Wickedness on the part of GES has made them introduce what they called notional and substantive effective dates for promotions and upgrading just to slash almost all the arrears that would have been accumulated to the teacher due to the delays. An incentive to the highest apogee. Salary arrears in general is still not resolved. What is GNAT doing?
Poor conditions of Service: GES and the government signed on to a 5-year collective agreement with pætertiary teachers. As we speak, the document has become a Whité elephant as the government is yet to implement the full content Of that agreement.
Intimidation by GES and Ministry Of Education: The SHS and Basic School heads and teachers have been warned not to speak to media houses and the public in general about some of the hardships we go through in our various schools. They are always threatening with losing your position or transfer. Eg is the current signing of a performance contract without the government committing itself to provide logistics.
Lack Of teaching aids like textbooks, markers’ TLMS, and other logistics that help the teacher in his work: If we have vibrant and proactive like UTAG, GMA, and the likes we wouldn’t be going through all these struggles. so this is the time to make a change and to let all members vote count by signing the petition.”
PERCEIVED CORRUPTION AND MISMANAGEMENT OF GNAT FUNDS.
Elections are meant to elect qualified and capable people who can steer the affairs of any organization. We must admit that opportunities and privileges come with being elected a leader. And so depending on how a person perceived the opportunities and privileges, they could do anything possible even by foul means to secure the position especially when the possibilities of being able to influence the process is high. We believe that the insignificant number of delegates (less than 0.4% at the national level and about 1% at lower levels) lend itself to the possibility of aspirants to influence the delegates. When all GNAT members have the chance to vote, virtually no aspirant would have the financial muscle to try to bribe or influence all the over 250,000 GNAT members or even less a number at lower levels (regional and district). Even if the aspirants found a foul means to win the elections, the experience of individual members on the ground would suffice at the next elections.
Teachers have heard that our monies have been used to sponsor some of the national executives to study outside the country. Why can’t the ordinary teacher also benefit if it’s genuine? Teachers’ monies have been used to sponsor some Colleges of Education to acquire ICT tools and equipment at the expense of the basic schools’ teachers meanwhile basic schools lack this ICT equipment. They use our monies to sponsor needless TV programs and other projects.
MODALITIES FOR ORGANIZING ELECTIONS FOR ALL GNAT MEMBERS
When it comes to the modalities of organizing elections for highly literate individuals as teachers, it is very easy and cheaper. USE ONLINE/ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM. In the era of smartphones and laptops, it is possible. Even students at many university campuses use Online/Electronic systems in their SRC elections. It would definitely be cheaper than the current manual system in place where delegates travel far and near to the venues to vote. The delegates are fed and given accommodation and transportation. The cost of printing ballot papers. Cost of bringing guests and other logistics.
SOURCE OF FUNDING THE ELECTIONS FOR ALL GNAT MEMBERS
Source of funding the Online/Electronic would not be an issue. In fact, money may even be saved for the association from the existing source of funding for the current manual election system. As indicated earlier, since the cost of the online elections would most likely be cheaper than the current manual system, the existing source of funding the current manual elections would be used to fund the online election system and may even be left with some balance.
So the only reason GNAT would not consider and/or table this proposal to amend the constitution at the national delegates’ congress is because the interest of GNAT membership is not at the heart of leadership and if the national delegates refuse to approve this amendment, it is because they have something to protect. Lastly, even though we are working on an electronic means of signing or endorsing the petition, we are requesting all the enthusiastic GNAT members across the locals, districts, regions, and national as a whole to make themselves available to collate and sign the petition by contacting any of our volunteers below or provide their details on our social media platforms.
“AMEND GNAT CONSTITUTION TO GIVE VOTING RIGHT TO ALL GNAT MEMBERS TO ELECT ALL GNAT
EXECUTIVES AT ALL LEVELS“
Vincent Agbenyo Rev. Daniel Okyere Ahinful Sakyi Abubakari Ahmed
0556060223. 0246052205 0244851416.