Government's Lukewarm Attitude “Worrying And Frustrating” – UTAG Threatens Strike Action From Monday, August 2

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has threatened to embark on an industrial action by withdrawing teaching, which includes the conduct of examinations, marking of examination scripts, and other related matters, starting from Monday, 2nd of August 2021 until further notice.

In a Press Statement signed and issued by its President, Prof. Charles Marfo on Wednesday, the leadership of UTAG said it has become necessary due to the failure of Government to cooperate with UTAG to complete negotiations on its Conditions of Service (CoS), which started in August 2018.

“Although some progress has been made in some respects, the key areas at the core of our CoS have seen no progress and It appears there is no end in sight whilst our members continue to wallow in worsening economic conditions.

“It is instructive to note that the few times UTAG has had to meet Government over the negotiations of its CoS, Government has always failed to respect the Rules of Engagement signed between the two parties to guide the negotiations, specifically, the full complement of key Government officials who could be described as having locus and, for that matter, capable of committing Government into any serious discussion are always absent. It is in the face of this exhibition of bad faith and abysmal progress made in the negotiations that we find ourselves here today,” the statement further said.

“UTAG finds this lukewarm attitude of Government as worrying and frustrating,” it added.

UTAG wishes to state clearly that the Association is not in any way seeking to make anybody or institution unpopular as some narratives, unfortunately, seek to portray.

Rather, all they seek to do is to let the public and everyone else understand that UTAG members have been left to wallow in worsening conditions of service for far too long and that deserve some meaningful attention.

Restore the 2012 values for the lecturer

UTAG demands that Government should just restore the 2012 values for the lecturer without recourse to adjustments as UTAG believes that this demand is appropriate and fair.

With the advent and subsequent implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) policy for public
sector workers in the country, in the negotiations that ended in January 2012, an Interim Market Premium (IPM) was fixed at 114% of the basic salary and this led to a Lecturer being paid the Cedi equivalent of USD 2,084.41 from
January 2012.

It is important to note that the 114% of the basic salary was determined to ensure that the gains made with the Standing Joint Negotiation Committee (SJNC) in 2003 would be sustained.

If Government finds this difficult to do, UTAG is willing to follow a road map as suggested by the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu’s report on the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders, June 2020.

In the preamble of that document at page(xi) and iterated elsewhere again in the document and I quote “the Committee strongly urges the Government to also spare no efforts at reducing the wide gap between the highest and lowest paid Public Servant in the Country. This can be achieved by implementing a roadmap (as was done during the tenure of former President Kuffuor for the health and education tertiary sectors) for enhancing the salaries of public sector workers on the Single Spine Salary Structure. The goal must be that the salary earned by every worker should enable him/her to live in dignity”.

Read attached the full statement