The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has urged the government to respond favorably to the demands of public university teachers, who have been on strike for nearly three weeks over market premiums and research allowances.
The teachers have been on strike since January 10, and public universities are on the verge of closing if the lecturers’ concerns are not addressed.
Mr Abraham Koomson, the GFL’s General Secretary, highlighted that issues regarding market premium and research allowances had persisted for a long time and needed to be addressed in order for professors to return to the classroom.
He told the media, that the GFL was aware that the government had failed to follow through on its promise to resolve the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAGissues )’s since last year.
“Despite assurances made last year to give the government space to honor its pledge to address the concerns, the GFL is monitoring with deep concern the administration’s hardline attitude to settling the repeated labor agitations among university lectures.”
“The development is undoubtedly concerning, especially in light of COVID-19’s already poor influence on smooth academic work,” he stated.
He said it was critical to resolve UTAG’s issues as soon as possible in order to lessen the impact of the strike on parents and kids.
He stated that a rapid resolution of the matter was not negotiable because the students and parents were the ones who suffered the most while the dance between the government and university teachers continued.
“GFL is aware of the worries of parents who have spent resources in these trying times to rent housing and pay for feeding and academic expenses for their wards who are now left to their fate on campuses,” he said.
The GFL General Secretary noted that the lecturers’ agitation seems to have been exacerbated by public statements by officials of the National Labour Commission (NLC), provoking the lecturers’ wrath.
He urged the government and the NLC to remember that section 97 of Act 651 imposes an obligation to negotiate in good faith.
“We urge the government to adhere to Section 97 of the Act in order to foster trust and confidence in the bargaining process in order to reduce the number of incessant public sector strikes that harm the economy and people,” he added.
Mr. Koomson stated that strict adherence to Section 97 of the Labour Act, 2003, Act 651 will aid in the resolution of the public sector workers’ strike.