The University Teachers Association of Ghana, UTAG, is unhappy with comments suggesting that its strike for improved conditions of service was prolonged to give the government a bad name.
National President of UTAG, Prof. Solomon Nunoo, says such thoughts are unhealthy for ongoing negotiations aimed at ending the stalemate.
“It’s unfortunate for anyone from any angle to say our strike is to make the government unpopular. If you talk to any of the executives, they all belong to one political persuasion or the other. So it is never right for one to consider and say this is being done with the view of making the government unpopular.”
“For the past years, the conditions of service have not been good, so how should that take a political angle? UTAG has been on strike for continuous six weeks and there hasn’t been any breakaway group, that should tell you about the unity in our action”, he said on Eyewitness News.
Meanwhile, the leadership of UTAG will today Wednesday, meet with government over concerns that led to the six-week strike.
Majority of universities have voted to reject the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of UTAG to suspend the strike.
The suspension decision was arrived at during a National Executive Meeting to give the government until March 4, 2022, to finalize negotiations concerning their working conditions.
Despite the disparity in voting by members, several universities have already announced the resumption of academic activities.
UTAG will by end of this week determine whether the suspension will stand or not.
“It is important that we all sit at the table with an open mind and willingness to negotiate in good faith and so the insinuations by some certain persons wouldn’t inure to anybody’s benefit, and it will cause a lot of divisions between the employer and the employee”, Prof. Solomon Nunoo added.
UTAG started the strike on January 10 to force the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon in 2012.
The 2012 conditions of service pegged the Basic plus Market Premium of a lecturer at $2,084.42.
UTAG has complained that the current arrangement has reduced its members’ basic premiums to $997.84.