UG lecturers’ vote against suspension of strike justified – UTAG President

 

 

The University of Ghana chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) says its decision to vote against the mother body’s suspension of the strike for better conditions of service is justified.

 

President of the chapter, Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan, believes the outcome of the referendum on the subject matter is indicative of the high level of mistrust among members about government’s assurances to meet their demands.

When asked on Eyewitness News why members rejected the suspension of the strike as suggested by the National Executive Council, Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan attributed it to bad faith on the part of the employer.

 

“We have been at the table for more than four years, and the main reason for which we have been at the negotiation has not been achieved. From last year, there were a number of MoUs we signed for which members believe that the government side failed to abide by. So the question of handling UTAG’s negotiation in good faith by government will come to play”, he explained.

The majority of UTAG members at the University of Ghana have said, they are not in supportof the Association’s move to suspend its strike.

 

In a referendum on Wednesday, 596 members voted to reject UTAG’s decision to suspend the strike, while 127 members voted in support of the suspension.

 

“So the suspension still holds, and we are looking forward to government showing the good faith that it promised. That is where we are. Reality is that, our frustration and disappointment at the way we have been handled during the negotiation is profound and we are just hoping against hope that the window of opportunity for government to respond to us will be done quickly so that we will meet membership again to see if government’s offer is something we can work with”, Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan said.

 

UTAG called off its almost seven-week-old strike after several appeals by the government, the education committee of Parliament, student unions, Vice Chancellors Ghana, as well as a ruling by an Accra High court.

 

After a National Executive Committee meeting, the Association resolved to resume negotiations till March 4, 2022.

 

The University of Education, Winneba Chapter of UTAG had earlier also voted against its National Executive Committee’s decision to suspend the strike.

 

Vice President of UTAG-UEW, Dr. Pascal Kpodo had said their chapter is waiting for other campuses to vote on the matter within five days.

 

“These resolutions will go back to NEC, and they would make a decision. While this voting is ongoing, we are hoping to reach an agreement with the government on how to better the conditions of service of the UTAG members. If that agreement is reached, the voting done by the universities will be null and void,” he said.

 

 

 

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