Education Ministry Spokesperson, Kwasi Kwarteng

The Education Ministry has disclosed that it has reached out to the leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) in a bid to get both parties to return to the negotiation table.

UTAG after a crisis meeting on Monday, January 17 kicked against the National Labour Commission’s directive asking them to resume academic activities.

However, as part of moves to avert any further delays in teaching and learning on campuses, the Ministry said it has begun engagements with UTAG.

Spokesperson for the Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng, is therefore hopeful that the university lecturers would soon return to the classroom.

“There are negotiations behind the scenes between the leadership of the Ministry led by the Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum and the leadership of UTAG, so that at least, we can all come back to have a consensus.”

“We will continue to engage the leadership of UTAG, so that we are able to get them to the classroom. The race and pace at which it is happening, we are very hopeful that we’d get UTAG back to the classroom,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) wants authorities in the various universities to compel the lecturers to respect its directive.

Executive Secretary of the NLC, Ofosu Asamoah, added that the government also has a role to play in bringing a conclusion to the impasse.

“It is for the faculty heads, the vice chancellors and the various heads of the various institutions to make sure that they [UTAG] abide by the directive. Government also has a role to play to make sure that they are working.”

“We [NLC] gave the directive; after the declaration of the illegality of the strike on grounds of procedure, we saw that there are issues that must be resolved, that’s why we gave them one month to go and resolve those issues,” he explained.

Deputy Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Charles Wereko-Brobby has backed the stance of the NLC to declare the strike by UTAG illegal.

“Let us sit and engage, that is all we need. When leadership comes, we need to talk to together and take a decision.”

“If we don’t agree and especially where the law comes in to say that this procedure they took was wrong, which body in Ghana should be respecting the law than the body of university teachers?” he asked.

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