The Local Union Chairman at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Charles Arthur has disclosed that the Teachers’ and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) will embark on a nationwide strike beginning Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
Justifying the union’s intention, he emotively stated that conclusion on negotiation on their demand for better conditions of service being unmet, merits the action.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Arthur said, “every public university, the members of TEWU will embark on a strike come Wednesday”.
“We are saying our conditions of service will have to be concluded because, in the conditions of service, we are supposed to be given other allowances which other entities get, but we don’t get at the moment”.
He further attributed their action to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission refusal to give attention to their calls.
“The onus lies on the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission. If they had paid attention for us to conclude the negotiations, such a situation would not have occurred.”
For almost two years, in spite of incessant complaints from the union, issues regarding their working conditions have not been rectified.
In the latter part of December, the Union resolved to withdraw its services due to the inability of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to reach an agreement over improve conditions of service.
Then, the Union deemed it unfortunate that for almost two years, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has not been able to finalize issues on its condition of service, while members continue to work under very difficult situation.
In a press statement, signed by Mark Dankyira Korankye, the General Secretary of TEWU and Ambrose Yao Kwadwodza, the National Chairman of TEWU, it noted that, the inability of the Fair wages commission to conclude negotiations on the conditions of service is prejudicial.
“Our Universities are expected to reopen, in January 2021, and our members will still be delivering their services and yet they will be working under a condition of service which has not been reviewed for close to 12 years.
“In view of the above, the union’s position is that, failure on the part of Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to give priority attention to immediately conclude negotiation on the new condition of service, for the unionized staff of the public universities, before the beginning of the academic year, in January 2021, which obviously will come with added responsibility with the intake of the first batch of graduates of the Free Senior High School, the union will advise itself”.
The outgoing Chairman of TEWU, Mr. Peter Koku Lumor, in 2019 also warned of a possible strike if the conditions of service of non-teaching staff were not addressed.
According to him, all the reforms and interventions within the educational sector had, over the years, only addressed the concerns of teachers, leaving out non-teaching staff who, he said, also played critical roles in the sector.
Further revealing the entrenched challenges of teachers, he intimated that, the introduction of the double-track system had also put more pressure on non-teaching staff.
Touching on the issue, the acting General Secretary of TEWU, Mr. Mark Dankyira Korankye, called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, “recruit more non-teaching staff to lessen the burden on the current staff”.