The National Labour Commission (NLC), has withdrawn its lawsuit against the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), following UTAG’s suspension of its industrial action on Wednesday [August 18, 2021].
The NLC was in court challenging the legality of UTAG’s strike, which had threatened the stability of the academic calendar of public universities. But UTAG had remained belligerent, accusing the NLC of bad faith in its dealings with the teacher union.
In Court today [Thursday], the Lawyer for the NLC, Yehoda Kotey, informed the Court about the memorandum of understanding reached during Wednesday’s meeting involving UTG, Employment and Labour Relations Ministry, Education Ministry and the Fair wages and Salaries Commission.
After the MoU, UTAG suspended its strike and the NLC prayed the Court to strike out its action as withdrawn.
Justice Frank Rockson Aboadwe, on the prayers of the NLC struck out the suit.
The parties are now expected to return to negotiations on market premium, book allowances among other concerns of UTAG.
Following the deliberations, the parties have agreed as follows:
1. That both parties (Government and UTAG) agree that there is a need to get back to the negotiating table from the week beginning Monday, August 23, 2021.
2. That a road for negotiation, as agreed at previous consultative meetings between the parties, which imposes a one-month mandatory period beginning 23rd August 2021 for negotiations, shall be signed by both parties;
3. That whilst the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations in conjunction with the NLC is taking steps to discontinue all legal processes against UTAG, UTAG will also take steps to suspend the ongoing strike action;
4. That government acknowledges the need to improve the working conditions of University Teachers and shall treat this will all the seriousness it deserves.
The industrial action
UTAG members have been on strike since the beginning of August 2021 because they want the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon in 2012 which they said was far better than the current situation.
The 2012 Single Spine package put entry-level lecturers on a salary of $2,084 while the current level puts lecturers’ salaries around $900.
The strike by UTAG has severely affected academic and some non-academic work at the various tertiary campuses.
The High Court’s Labour Division, 1, advised the National Labour Commission (NLC), and UTAG, to settle the stalemate over their industrial action out of Court.