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We’re still on strike despite meetings with stakeholders – UTAG

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The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) says it is still on strike despite the series of meetings held with various stakeholders in the education sector over the demands of its members.

The association says it will continue to stay away from lecture rooms until its demands for better conditions of service are met by the government.

The president of the University of Ghana chapter of UTAG, Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan, said the agencies responsible for ensuring that the demanded conditions of service are met are yet to take any concrete decision that will encourage them to call off the strike.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings; one with Ministry of Education and also with Vice Chancellor’s Ghana and in all of these, the understanding was to seek clarity on what the demands of UTAG are and also to see how they can be able to mediate between the government stakeholders that are able to make a determination on our conditions of service and UTAG. This is in the hope to secure a deal that will get us back to the classroom. Beyond that, there hasn’t been any call up for UTAG to engage government,” he said.

He said UTAG is willing to return to the classroom if government in the interim considers a 114% base pay and interim market premium for them as they await the labour market survey to regularize the amount.

“[What we want is] For government in the interim to consider the 114% of base pay currently and interim market premium, for us to be able to accept that. That is a reasonable concession that we can work with pending the completion of a labour market survey and its implementation, which is currently in the pipeline… Our decision is premised on the fact that something positive comes on the side of government which improves our condition and if that is not happening, we do not see ourselves coming any time soon,” he added.

UTAG members on all campuses are on strike to force the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon 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 association has been on strike for the past three weeks.

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