We have resolved our differences with govt – UTAG

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The General Secretary for the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr Asare Asante Annor, has revealed that the Association and government have been able to resolve their outstanding issues.

Speaking on JoyNews, Dr Annor assured that lecturers will not resume their strike.

“As it stands now, first and foremost, we have been able to resolve the differences we have with the employer. So we will be returning to the classrooms as we did on Monday. We have already been teaching.

“When you meet at the negotiation table, there are a lot of things that come to play. As a result of these things in totality, we have been able to have some sort of resolution to the impasse. The university lecturer is going back to the classroom to teach and our students are also going to be able to go for lectures,” he said.

UTAG, since the beginning of the year, embarked on a strike action to demand that government improves the working conditions of lecturers. Academic work has been halted for close to two months.

Although the National Labour Commission filed a lawsuit against UTAG for failing to call off the strike, the Association did not budge.

The Labour Division of the High Court hearing the case urged both parties to resolve the impasse outside of court through negotiation. The first attempt was unsuccessful.

For the second time, the court directed the NLC and UTAG to settle their differences out of court. During this period, government had been engaging UTAG.

On February 15, the Labour Division of the Accra High Court placed an injunction on the ongoing strike by the Association and directed UTAG to return to the negotiation table.

Following this, the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana entreated its members nationwide to honour its decision to return to the classroom on Monday, February 28. The suspension was to last until March 4.

We have resolved our differences with government - UTAG
Lecturers and students of the University of Ghana begin classes for the semester [Photo credit: Radio Univers]

During the period lecturers had returned to post, a referendum conducted by the UTAG’s National Executive Council showed an overwhelming rejection from public universities of the decision to pick up their tools.

Also, President Akufo-Addo reaffirmed the commitment of the government to find a lasting solution to the prevailing strike action by UTAG.

But after a crunch meeting between government and UTAG on Friday, March 4, both parties reached an agreement.

UTAG had requested that government reconsiders the payment of its annual research allowance to a more realistic allowance “as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development.”

They also wanted the 2013 Interim Market Premium (IMP) of 114% on Basic Salary restored.

The Association had bemoaned the current salary arrangement which has reduced its members’ basic premiums to $997.84 instead of the 2012 conditions of service which put entry-level lecturers on a monthly pay of $2,084.42.

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