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UTAG embarks on strike beginning Monday

Source The Ghana Report

University lecturers are expected to lay down their tools from Monday, 10 January 2022, in protest over poor conditions of service.

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) concluded on the decision due to “the worsening Conditions of Service (CoS) of the University Teacher and the failure of the Employer in addressing the plight of UTAG members within the agreed timelines.”

In a letter dated 8 January, UTAG called on their employer “to restore members to the 2013 Interim Market Premium (IMP) of 114% of Basic Salary in the interim whilst Government goes ahead to formulate guidelines to implement the appropriate recommendations to address the CoS of the University Teacher”.

UTAG warned that any delay by the employer “would further exacerbate the already fragile academic calendar to the detriment of all stakeholders”.

Teachers have embarked on countless strikes over the same issue in recent years.

The latest decision was made by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of UTAG following two emergency meetings.

Consequently, UTAG has requested members across all 15 universities in Ghana to cease teaching and other related duties until further notice.

UTAG explained that after the implementation of the  IMP in 2013, a determination is yet to be made, resulting in the erosion of the university teacher’s salary.

“There was the hope that by completing and implementing the Labour Market Survey (LMS) Report of 2019, a review of the IMP would have put the University Teacher on a relatively good salary stead. Regrettably, the recommendations of the 2019 LMS Report without any accompanying technical report on the implementable MP is meaningless to UTAG as it does not address the pertinent issues of improved CoS,” UTAG lamented.

It added that there was a LMS in 2014 whose Report did not see the light of day, and one wonders if the 2019 LMS Report would ever be implemented since it is already two years old.

“In addition, recommendation (iii) from the 2019 LMS Report states that, ‘Public Services Commission should liaise with educational institutions to prioritise the offering of courses in areas of demand to increase the employment prospects of their graduates and increase the pool of applicants for high vacancies’”.

“How can such a national agenda be attained if the CoS of the University Teacher keeps worsening year on year, leading to an ever-increasing attrition rate on our campuses? UTAG members see the timing of the release of the report as one of the usual delay tactics that the Employer has employed over the years, which is unacceptable”.

“We must also point out that, generally, our members have decried the pittance agreed to be paid as annual research allowance and would want the government to reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development,” it added.

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