After the the various teachers union met to negotiate the infamous 4% salary increment for 2021, most of the unions came under fire as their members were unhappy with the result.
Amidst the fading brouhaha surrounding the 14% increment, GNAT, the biggest teachers union in Ghana declared its intention of establishing a teacher's bank. The multimillion questions asked are; Is it necessary for GNAT to establish a teacher's bank now or It is uneccessary to do so for now? Below are the analysis for each questions.
VIEWS ON WHY GNAT SETTING UP A BANK IS A MISPLACED PRIORITY
1. There are more pressing issues the association will have to look at before this decision and that If teachers bank will not be treating teachers differently, then its establishment is not necessary:
If they are to set-up a bank and their charges and interest rates are the same as the existing banks then I will say is waste of the teachers money and opportunity for others to amass wealth.
2. In addition, since all banks in Ghana operate under Bank of Ghana (BoG), the bank will not be limited to teachers only and it will be subjected to BoG regulations:
Teachers bank will not be different from other commercial banks. Once a bank, it will be regulated by the BoG with the same prime rate, minimum capital or reserves, etc. And it will be open to everybody on the streets as a customer. It can therefore not treat teachers differently. Don’t forget that rural banks don’t give shareholders any special rate.Teachers bank will be worse than the Mutual fund“, another member added.
VIEWS OF ON WHY GNAT SHOULD SETUP A BANK.
1. It is believed that in establishing teachers bank , teachers will be shareholders and therefore be treated as different:
Here the teacher who is a customer is at the same time a shareholder. Am talking about teachers’ bank, not any other bank.Workers cannot be treated same as customers. Teachers will be customers and/or owners of GNAT bank. This will give the teacher's union some kind of power during negotiation with the government on salaries and other issues.
2. Profit from the Bank can be used to serve diverse beneficial interest of teacher': A bank established and accepted to operate on behalf of teachers will give several benefits to the teacher's as its profit can be used to embark on several projects and infrastructures for teachers. Although GNAT have various projects such as helping members to build their own house, but how many teachers are able to benefit from that? With enough proceeds from the bank, GNAT can fund the building projects and make it more flexible to more members.
There are more pressing needs for GNAT members to be prioritize now than that of GNAT establishing a bank. What is the guarantee that leadership of the association wont use it as an avenue to amass wealth for themselves as interest rates on loans for its members will be huge. GNAT should focus on its members grievances such as long time for processing loan for members, high interest loan rate charge for teachers on their own money.
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