GTUCCU decentralises operations

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a release issued by the union states.
Following the opening of the Basse Office in May 2005, teachers could only access services either in Basse or in Kanifing. However, with the construction of its headquarters (Teacher House) and its subsequent relocation from the main union headquarters (GTU Secretariat) in 2008, the leadership thought more could be done to further decentralize operations.
Thus the leadership, in 2012 finalised a three-year strategic document highlighting a host of projects to be embarked on to move the credit union to the next level. Among them was a decentralisation plan to be completed by December 2015.
However, when the Department of National Treasury (DNT) announced plans to transfer salaries of civil servants to the banks, the leadership of the credit union quickly embarked on a study to see how the implementation of the DNT decision could impact on teachers and on their work. The study revealed some interesting findings. For instance, Central River Region has no bank and this will compel teachers in the region to travel outside their region each month, spend money on transport fares and probably stay away from school for a day just to collect their salaries. The ramifications on quality education delivery could leave too much to be desired.
Thus when the findings were presented to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, an agreement was reached to transfer teachers’ salaries to the GTUCCU who thought maintaining the paymaster system would be better for teachers. This agreement compelled the GTUCCU to complete its decentralization process immediately. Hence by June 2013 all regional offices were opened and provided with at least three staff including a paymaster for each region. Strengthening the regional offices
The regional offices have been operational since June 2013, consequently making access to services easier for teachers. All services available at the headquarters are also available in the regions thus teachers need not travel long distances to access services.
Subsequently, the leadership purchased new generators and air conditioners to further equip the regional offices as well as enhance their work. With the provision of the aforementioned equipment, salary payment, for instance, can go on even after night fall to expedite the process.
The leadership of the credit union, while making plans for expansion, also thought of acquiring new software, (jointly with sister credit unions) designed to handle our operations with efficiency. The new software (the abacus) enables the credit union to network all regional offices and accord the general manager the opportunity to monitor transactions in all offices just on the click of a button. This would require the regional offices to have reliable power supply which the generators will help ensure.
Furthermore, the GTUCCU is playing host to the shared-branching scheme of the project in Basse, Farafenni and Soma. Under this scheme, the GTUCCU will accommodate eleven (11) sister credit unions, providing them with space, electricity, water and internet connectivity, to use the same software (the abacus) to serve their members.
The next phase of the decentralization will witness the acquisition of land and construction of permanent structures for all regional offices.
In conclusion, the credit union continues to import motor cycles for teachers to ease movement and curb the rising cost of transport fares that teachers continue to incur. The motor cycles are reliable, strong and durable fitted with 150 horse power engines.

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