President of the University of Ghana chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr. Samuel Nkumban has stated that he hopes the censure motion against finance minister does not affect agreements between the labour unions and government should he be sacked.
Speaking on Campus Exclusive after meeting with the National Labor Commission on Wednesday, November 16, Dr. Nkumban stated that the absence of the finance minister at their scheduled meeting was due to the censure motion for his resignation which has contributed to their failure to come to meet and negotiate for their demands.
TheFinance Ministry is pretty engaged with issues in Parliament and preparation for the release of the budget. So that was the sort of indication we got for their inability to be part of. And so this was reported to the labor commission and the government side asked for a little more time to be able to engage with us. We were given two weeks to engage with the government and revert. That is where we are now. Nothing much has changed in terms of the posturing of government as well as arriving at a solution yet. This is attributed to the Finance minister’s public hearing due to the censure motion for his resignation.
He called on the government not to breach their Memorandum of Understanding should the finance be sacked.
The point is that once an agreement has been signed, we are not dealing with the Minister as an individual we are dealing with the Ministry as an institution. The expectation is that if an institution signs an agreement irrespective of who is heading it that agreement must be respected and abided by. For, once we have an agreement that has been signed by the side government, we expect that government will do its part which has to do with the implementation of such an agreement. And so for us it’s not about the individual it’s about the institution and we believe that the good reasons for which these agreements were reached will not be breached by any new person should this happen that he[Finance Minister] is no longer the one leading the Ministry.
Dr. Samuel Nkumban stated that the Vice Chancellors of Ghana are yet to engage them in finding a solution to the impasse.
There hasn’t been any invitation from the Vice Chancellors Ghana for example to us to have a meeting and for them to probably appreciate our reasons for our strike and all of that. I do understand that they also have members of UTAG for example and you can understand the circumstance under which this declaration was made.
Four public university workers’ unions have since Monday, October 17th, 2022 laid down their tools over what they term as a blatant unilateral variation of agreed conditions of service in the face of hostile economic conditions. The striking unions are the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG), and Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA).
Industrial actions have led to a halt in academic activities and non-academic activities in various tertiary institutions across the country. An attempt to get the striking public university workers union to rescind their decision could not be achieved at a meeting between the National Labor Commission (NLC) and the unions on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.