The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has issued a new strike notice for the start of the academic year.
According to them, the government has failed to meet their demands for better working conditions for more than three years, prompting the strike on January 10.
Dr. Samuel Nkumban, President, University of Ghana (UG) Chapter of UTAG, told TV3 news that the union had no choice but to take this action in order to get government to play its part in ensuring that they get what they deserve.
“UTAG wishes that it would not begin the year with a strike action, unfortunately, we have found ourselves at a crossroad which requires that for better conditions of service for its members, we take this step. It’s been as far back as 2019 when we began engaging with government with respect to our conditions of service. Unfortunately, we have not made significant gains as yet,” he said.
Dr. Nkumban explained how the government’s failure to complete a targeted labor market survey document has slowed the negotiation process.
“We had some timelines in relation to the completion of the labour market survey by end of December for implementation, that we have not had any concrete communication in relation to.
“In November, we requested that at least a copy of the labour market survey be made available to UTAG for study and that would have guided us in terms of what to expect. Unfortunately, the response is that the market survey was commissioned by the ministry of finance and ministry of employment and labour relations and that until they are satisfied and approve the copy, we cannot be given a copy,” Dr. Nkumban said.
“Unfortunately, the timelines we had to meet with government, day in day out, we are not getting any meaningful results from that side and that is the basis for which we’ve had to take this decision.
“…it’s as though for failure of government and its assigns to do what it ought to do, we are suffering. The labour market survey document is supposed to have been done in 2013, it got frozen at that point. As we speak, we are doing less than 50% of basic pay as interim market premium and our indications are that our conditions have become worsened by the day and it is not our fault,” he added.
If the government does not respond before the strike’s designated start date, the strike will commence on January 10, 2022.
“I must say this is a nationwide one. It is not limited to the University of Ghana and the agreed date is that, if on the 10th of January, nothing feasible comes from the side of government then nationwide UTAG will also be withdrawing teaching services,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nkumban explained that, as the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, suggested, strike activities may not be the ideal way to resolve their issues, but they have waited too long and require immediate action.