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NUGS ‘begs’ UTAG, Universities’ Senior Staff to reconsider strike

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The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has appealed to the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana to reconsider their strike.

According to NUGS, although the demands of the two unions are legitimate, they should consider the interest of Ghanaian students.

Members of UTAG and the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana are set to begin an indefinite strike from today, Monday, August 2, 2021.

In a communiqué on July 30, UTAG directed all its members to comply with the strike.

UTAG members on all campuses are to withdraw from teaching and other activities like examinations, invigilation, marking of examination scripts, and the processing of examination results.

But NUGS in a press statement issued on Monday, August 2, 2021, urged the two unions to reconsider their decision as a “mark of good faith towards students”.

“The National Union of Ghana Students appreciates UTAG and SSA-UoG for the patience and sacrifice of their membership towards service rendered to Ghanaian students and the nation at large. We believe strongly that the answers UTAG and SSA-UoG are seeking from the government are for the right reasons.”

“That notwithstanding, we disagree with the strike approach, considering its effect on students, especially within the abnormal times we find ourselves in and the earlier obstruction of academic work by the global shutdown. UTAG and SSA-UoG must as an act of good faith towards students and the government avoid an entrenched position in all dialogues to address their concerns.”

NUGS in the statement said: “We appeal to our lecturers to stay in the classroom for the sake of the future generation as they continue to negotiate with the appropriate quarters since Ghanaian students shouldn’t always be at the receiving end.”

What are the demands of UTAG, Universities’ Senior Staff?
UTAG has been asking the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon with the government in 2012.

The 2012 conditions of service pegged the Basic plus Market Premium of a lecturer at $2,084.42.

UTAG has complained that the current arrangement has reduced its members’ basic premiums to $997.84.

The Universities’ Senior Staff on the other hand has been asking for the award of market premiums and non-basic allowances, as well as the finalisation of negotiations of their conditions of service.

The association earlier accused the government of “contemptuous and total disregard to the National Labour Commission’s (NLC) directives on January 28, 2021, upon hearing from both parties to resolve all our concerns within a three-month stipulated period, which also regrettably elapsed on March 31, 2021, repugnantly.”

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