Labour unions of state universities to withdraw service

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Education Unions Strike
Education Unions Strike

Four labour unions in the public universities of Ghana have threatened to withdraw their services from Wednesday, October 5, 2022, if the Government failed to resolve issues on their conditions of service.

The leadership of the unions has admonished all members to remain calm as they will resist any attempt by the Government to vary the terms of their agreed condition of service without due process.

The Unions are the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Ghana Association of University Administrators, the Tertiary Education Workers’ Union of Ghana and the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana.

Professor Solomon Nunoo, National President of UTAG, announced this on Wednesday at a press conference in Accra.

“The unions will like to advise the Government to be circumspect as we do not take delight in disrupting the academic calendar, but when compelled to do so, we will not hesitate,” he stated.

Prof. Nunoo said the labour unions took notice of a letter from the Ministry of Finance on the revision of fuel allowance payable to eligible staff in public and technical universities without following the laid down procedures for negotiations.

He said the leadership of UTAG in a letter to the Ministry of Finance sought clarification on the basis for the unilateral variation in the conditions of service for workers of public universities, but there was no response.

“In UTAG’s previous letters, UTAG stated that per the signed Memorandum of Agreement between the Employer and UTAG on June 16, 2021, the employer agreed to review the fuel allowance bi-annually with the approved rates and the first date of review should have occurred in December 2021 but did not happen in spite of the reminders sent to the employer,” he said.

He said the Ministry of Finance on August 5, 2022, gave approval for the adjustment of the ex-pump price of fuel with a unit cost pegged at GHS 10.99 per litre with effect from July 1, 2022, for all eligible staff.

Prof. Nunoo stated that the unions had noticed disparities in the implementation of the adjusted ex-pump rate, which would be applicable only to duty bearers of the universities.

That, he stated, was contrary to the existing practice with reference to vehicle maintenance and off-campus allowances.

“We are registering our displeasure with the directive and requesting that under no circumstance should Vice-Chancellors, through their Finance Directors, implement such by applying the GHS 10.99 ex-pump approved rate only to fuel allowance without considering vehicle maintenance and off-campus allowances,” he said.

He said the unions had observed that the implementation of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission document on harmonised allowances had made the university administrators and professionals worse off and called for urgent attention.

Prof Nunoo called on the Government to speed up the payment of the Research and Book Allowance, which was to be paid at the end of August 2022.

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