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UTAG begins new year with first strike to warn govt

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Dr. Samuel Nkumban, President, University of Ghana (UG) Chapter of UTAG

UTAG begins academic year with strike

Government failing on their promise to work on conditions of service

Strike slated to begin January 10, 2022

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), has served notice of a fresh strike to begin the academic year.

The strike scheduled for January 10, according to them, follows the government’s continuous failure to meet their demands for better conditions of service for well over 3 years.

Speaking to TV3 news in an interview, Dr. Samuel Nkumban, President, University of Ghana (UG) Chapter of UTAG explained that though unfortunate, the union has had to take this decision to get government play its role in ensuring that what they deserve is given them.

“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 government’s failure to complete a labour market survey document targeted has stalled the progress of negotiations.

“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.

Barring any feedback from government before the scheduled date for the strike, it will begin 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 like the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II suggested, strike actions may not be the best to seek resolutions to their grievances but they have been patient for too long and need urgent responses.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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