A Committee of Universities Local Union Executives has threatened to embark on a series of industrial actions if government fails to swear-in a representative of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), Mr Charles Arthur, onto the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Governing Council.
The committee has given government up to the University’s next council meeting to accept the choice made by TEWU members and allow the appointed person to represent them on the KNUST Governing Council.
TEWU members with the backing of the Committee of Universities Local Union Executives marched through the University streets on Friday before presenting a petition to the Chancellor of the university.
Acting Chairman of the Committee of Universities Local Union Executives, Naa Gumah Zakaria says TEWU’s choice of a representative onto the Governing Council cannot be reversed.
“In our letter it is stated clearly that we expect that at the next council meeting our representative will have flown into office and that will close the matter. It is going to be one week from now. These are some of the things we wouldn’t want to be saying on air. But of course, there is an itinerary ready till our needs are met because you will remember that somewhere on the 20th, a similar meeting was held and we were asked to do that format and that has been done today. Of course, we expect that by tomorrow an action should be taken on our request and then within a week or two, we need to have the results,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Obiri Danso wants TEWU members to remain united and be assured that their concerns will be resolved soon.
“I will urge everybody to keep a cool head. There is no need fighting each other. It is only a misunderstanding. At the end of the day, we all go into the same classroom, offices and even to our homes as brothers and sisters. We have one university and therefore irrespective of the crisis that is at hand I do not want to hear of anybody fighting anybody for whatever reason,” he noted.
Following a demonstration by students of KNUST on 22nd October 2018 that led to the destruction of some properties, the government dissolved the previous council and re-constituted an interim one to work towards addressing the impasse between the students and the university management.
However, the student leadership called for the immediate restoration of the school’s governing council which was dissolved by the government.
They said the government erred in arbitrarily dissolving the former council and establishing a new one to manage the day-to-day activities of the school.
The name of TEWU’s representative, Mr Arthur, was subsequently removed from the list of newly constituted council members.
TEWU rejected the council entirely, insisting that the old council should be reinstated.
This led to the government in November 2019 postponing the swearing-in ceremony of the new governing council.
The aggrieved group accused the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, of being the masterminded of the removal of their representative on the Council.
According to TEWU, they nominated Mr Arthur and communicated their decision in a letter dated September 5, 2019 but for some reasons unknown, he was not included on the Council.