The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Universities Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has resolved to indefinitely suspend its strike action following an emergency meeting held on Tuesday, 8th March, 2022.
According to UTAG, the meeting considered, among other things, the outcome of the referenda on its decision to temporarily suspend the industrial action which commenced on January 10, 2022.
Contained in a statement signed by the President of UTAG, Prof Solomon Nunoo, it stated that the NEC of UTAG voted to temporarily suspend the strike action on Monday, February 21, 2022, to pave way for negotiations with the employer to help meet some of the demands and address the concerns of UTAG.
UTAG revealed that as a consequent to the referenda, twelve out of the fifteen UTAG branches voted to reject the call for the suspension of the strike action. This, it explained, signified their lack of trust in the employer’s commitment to addressing their concerns and, thus, their resolve to continue with the strike action until their demands were met.
“After careful assessment of the referenda results, interim agreements reached between UTAG and the Employer, and the various branch reports, the NEC of UTAG resolved to indefinitely suspend the strike action of 10th January 2022”.UTAG
At the meeting, UTAG intimated that it received reports from the various branches in relation to the branch meetings held on Friday, 4th March, 2022. The reports, it disclosed, were centred on the dissatisfaction of members on the arrangements put in place to address their demands. In this regard, the NEC of UTAG noted that it will endeavour to ensure that all concerns raised by members are reflected in whatever agreement is to be signed between the Employer and UTAG.
“Notwithstanding the concerns raised, members also considered the interventions of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and the eminent persons, which led to the temporary suspension of the strike action, in accepting the proposals. Once again, the NEC of UTAG reiterates its awareness of the level of disappointment and dissatisfaction of members on the proposals to deal with the demands of members”.UTAG
UTAG pledges to ensure members concerns are addressed
Following this, UTAG appealed to members to remain calm and accept the proposals in resolving their grievances as interim measures, while it works to ensure that the measures intended to resolve the concerns of teachers are adhered to. The Association further pledged to monitor and police the “full implementation of all agreements with the Employer” and work with clear timelines and roadmaps to ensure that all promises and agreements are respected.
“There would no longer be reactionary measures but proactive interventions that would not wait till matters get out of hand before resorting to industrial actions. The NEC of UTAG is resolved to pursue the agreements for the Employer to implement the Market Premium and/or review the Single Spine Salary Structure in 2023, to help address concerns of poor Conditions of Services of the University Teacher in full”.UTAG
The Association expressed gratitude to its members for their patience and support, pledging to act in a “manner reflective of their mood” at all times. It subsequently called on all stakeholders for their support and action to help address the needs of the University Teacher.
“We wish all well as we demonstrate good faith by returning to the lecture halls to teach and call on the Employer to demonstrate same good faith by being committed to all agreements to help maintain industrial harmony”.UTAG
In concluding, UTAG indicated that the days when the employer treated UTAG with “contempt and made promises” that were not fulfilled are behind them. In lieu of this, it underscored the need to subject the employer to strict “proof and hold it accountable” to every promise made and all signed agreements.