The planned meeting between the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the National Labour Commission (NLC) has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 13, 2022.
The meeting, which was earlier scheduled for Wednesday, will consider the legality or otherwise of the three-day-old strike by UTAG.
It is also expected to discuss the conditions of service demanded by UTAG, the failure of stakeholders to stick to an earlier agreement, and consider the ‘hearing of the issues in dispute.”
The NLC announced the decision to change the meeting day in a letter dated January 10, 2022, signed by the Director of Administration, Dr Bernice Welbeck.
Ahead of the meeting, UTAG accused the NLC of bias and questioned the ability of the Commission to fairly address the issues that have necessitated their strike.
The university teachers have been asking the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon in 2012/2013 which pegs the salary of an entry-level lecturer at $2,084.42.
President of UTAG Dr. Solomon Nunoo has indicated that in spite of the earlier concerns raised, UTAG is hopeful of a favourable ruling.
“Unfortunately for us, that is the only state institution we have when it comes to labour management. In this case, we need to go and listen and then we see how they will handle it. We go in with an open mind but that does not stop us from commenting on the behaviour of people who are behaving as appendages of government.”
“If the Labour Commission had been proactive, they would have come in to try and mediate the process but unfortunately, that did not take place. We are optimistic that they will give a ruling in our favour and then we continue from there,” he told JoyNews.
He reiterated that UTAG is ready to engage the government in negotiations to find a lasting solution to their concerns.
“The negotiations will start any time government is willing to negotiate. We wish for an end to come as quickly as possible.”
“It’s all about government or our employers deciding that ‘we are going to pay you 114% as your market premium and that will solve the problem and immediately we’ll be in the classroom and start teaching,” he added.
Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana embarked on industrial action on Monday, January 10 in the quest to demand better conditions of service.
The move is already biting hard on students as it threatens to derail the academic calendars of various tertiary institutions.
The teachers reluctantly called off a similar strike over the same demands last year on the condition that their concerns will be addressed.
But after the exhaustion of timelines, the government is yet to act on their demands.