The leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), and the National Labour Commission are expected to resume negotiations today, Monday, August 23, 2021.
This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and UTAG, which led to the suspension of the latter’s 13-day strike.
UTAG embarked on the strike over the government’s failure to restore conditions of service for members agreed on in 2012, among other demands.
The President of UTAG, Professor Charles Marfo, in a Citi News said the union expects the government to treat this opportunity with enough commitment or risk another strike.
According to him, they (UTAG) want to have this issue dealt with once and for all.
“We have been negotiating and we said that the negotiation wasn’t going well because the government’s attention to our meeting wasn’t right and it was on that basis we gave them a deadline and went on strike. Now we have realised the seriousness and we want to have serious business and get things done with, and that is why we have even indicated the period within which the negotiation should take place.”
We’ve suspended our strike, we’ll call it off after successful negotiations
UTAG had earlier indicated that it will only call off its strike completely upon successful negotiation with the government and the NLC.
“We have not called it [strike] off. We have only suspended it. If we look at the document [Memorandum of Understanding], there are reasons for the suspension.”
“We are supposed to have negotiations and finish within 30 days and if everyone is satisfied, there will be no continuation of a strike. Everything is clearly stated in the MoU, our concerns, needs, and conditions of service and the government has promised to look at them,” he said.
The industrial action
UTAG members have been on strike since the beginning of August 2021 because they want the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon in 2012 which they said was far better than the current situation.
The 2012 Single Spine package put entry-level lecturers on a salary of $2,084 while the current level puts lecturers’ salaries around $900.
The strike by UTAG severely affected academic and some non-academic work at the various tertiary campuses.
The High Court’s Labour Division, 1, advised the National Labour Commission (NLC), and UTAG, to settle the stalemate over their industrial action out of Court.