NUGS President, Dennis Appiah-Larbi Ampofo

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has charged government to ensure that labour unions in the country enjoy better conditions of work.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday over the strike by four teacher unions, the student body noted that government owes it a responsibility to provide create, maintain and provide enabling environments for productivity.

It, therefore, has called on the government to “expeditiously engage with the labour unons as part of efforts in addressing their concerns. This is imperative in averting further disruptions to the academic calendar.”

Although the teachers may have a genuine cause for their action, NUGS is appealing to them to act in good faith and consider the welfare of students in all dialogues aimed at addressing their concerns.

“We are minded of the Akan adage that ‘when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’. Hence, our students will be the ultimate victims should the simmering tension between government and labour unions persist,” NUGS said on Tuesday.

Four teacher unions have declared an indefinite nationwide strike – effective Monday, July 4 – over demands for the payment of the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

The unions, comprising the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT), are demanding that the 20% of their basic salary be paid to them.

They have blamed their industrial action on government’s failure to pay the COLA, which they argue could have helped to mitigate the impact of the rising cost of living.

But NUGS wants government to act swiftly in addressing the concerns of the teacher unions.

“The creation and maintenance of an enabling environment which engenders productivity and protect the welfare of the labour front remains the responsibility of government, particularly in the education sector, this is essential in promoting teaching, extra-curricular activities and safeguarding learning outcomes.

“In this regard, we expect government to embark on all necessary managerial steps intended to amicably resolve this impasse,” NUGS added in the statement.

Read the full statement below:

It is your responsibility to manage labour unions - NUGS tells government
It is your responsibility to manage labour unions - NUGS tells government