The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is today, Monday, September 27, 2021, expected to meet government representatives on the fate of its suspended strike action over working conditions.
UTAG, in August, decided to suspend a 13-day strike action over poor salary conditions following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with government which paved way for a month of negotiations.
The teachers association, following the expiration of the negotiation period, announced that government failed to come through for the process and thus failed to find a resolution to their demands.
The President of UTAG, Dr Samuel Nkumban, in an interview with Citi News monitored by GhanaWeb has indicated that today’s meeting with government will determine government’s position on their demands.
“After the suspension of the industrial action, we had a meeting and made some propositions, and of course, the figures are not for public consumption but we did make some propositions that members of the government team needed to take to their officials.”
“So the expectation is that we will be getting some feedback as to what the response of the government is, and as to whether that is acceptable or not acceptable to us.”
Meanwhile, there have been growing sentiments and agitations within the membership of UTAG, with threats of a renewed strike action being issued.
Professor Ransford Gyampo, the UTAG General Secretary for Legon chapter, in a Citi News interview monitored by GhanaWeb, bemoaned the level of seriousness government officials have attached to the demands of UTAG.
“UTAG signed an MoU to suspend the strike to pave way for a one-month negotiation period. Some of us had to practically swim against the tide in persuading our members to agree to this. We agreed to talk for just one month. We never agreed to negotiate in perpetuity.”
“We are about 4 days into the one-month ultimatum and nothing concrete has been agreed upon and communicated to our members.”
The 13-day-long strike action in August led to a stall in academic activities across the country.
The National Labour Commission filed a suit against UTAG at the High Courts Labour Division, seeking to declare the strike illegal. The court however advised the NLC and UTAG to settle the matter out of court and this led to the signing of the MoU for the one-month negotiation period.