The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has given the National Labour Commission (NLC) a 21 days strike notice over their failure to comply by its requirements from previous negotiations.
In a letter dated 27th October 2023, UTAG complained about the NLC’s lack of haste in respecting the negotiations made in their Conditions of Service (CoS), further highlighting how this was causing pressure and tensions across the University campuses.
According to them, the Government has not taken the negotiations seriously to effectively work on them.
“The employer and by extension, the mandate state institutions have been very slow in completing the negotiations on our conditions of service (CoS). the snail pace nature of the negotiations is creating undue pressure and tensions across our campus… most importantly, the Employer/Government does not take the negotiations on our CoS seriously, and the Ministry of Finance, in particular, continues sending representatives with no effective mandate and authority to make commitments during the negotiation.”
Making reference to a Memoranda of Agreement (MoA) which was signed on 5th August 2022, on their Vehicle Maintenance Allowance and Off-campus Allowance, UTAG rebukes the Government for failing to keep up with their earlier agreement.
They expressed disappointment in the turn of events.
“UTAG is very appalled about the deliberate misinterpretations and the disrespect to signed MoAs by the Employer.”
The association also touched on the component of the agreed the Online Teaching Support Agreement (OTSA), where they lamented about universities’ being unable to fully pay the allowances from their internally generated funds.
The government was further called out on the matter for not recognizing the issue in any way.
“We signed an agreement with the Employer on 3rd March 2022 that the respective universities shall pay a component of the Agreed Online Teaching Support Allowance (OTSA) from their Internally Generated Funds (IGFs). To our dismay, many universities are in arrears, and some have not paid at all. We see this is a Variation in our conditions of service to our disadvantage which we reject.”
In concluding remarks, UTAG threatened to embark on a strike if the NLC failed to address the aforementioned issues in the letter within the 21-grace period given from the date of the letter.
“In compliance with the requirements of the Labour Act, 2003( Act 651)Section 159, to which requires either party intending to take a strike action or institute a lockout to give written notice to the other party and the Commision within seven days, we are by this letter magnanimously giving notice to the Employer 21 days as a grace period to address the above-listed concerns of UTAG, or we will proceed immediately on strike on the 22nd day from the date of this letter.”
Here is the letter from UTAG.