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UTAG to meet with government today over poor conditions of service

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The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is expected to meet with the government over its demands today, Monday, September 27, 2021.

According to UTAG, the fate of its suspended strike hinges on today’s meeting.

The Association in August suspended a 13-day long strike after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government demanded the suspension for further negotiations on their conditions of service.

However, days after the expiration of the MoU, some members of UTAG have expressed disappointment in the failure of the government to address their concerns.

In an interview with Citi News, the President of the University of Ghana chapter of UTAG, Dr. Samuel Nkumban, indicated that the meeting will bring to the fore government’s stance 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, members of the union had earlier threatened to resume the suspended strike if the government does not stick to the timelines agreed upon.

The Secretary of the University of Ghana chapter of UTAG, Professor Ransford Gyampo in a Citi News interview said the government isn’t taking their grievances seriously.

“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.”

About earlier strike
UTAG members had 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.

UTAG had earlier indicated that it will only call off its strike completely upon successful negotiation with the government and the NLC.

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