Spokesperson of the Education Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng

Spokesperson for the Education Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng, says the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to suspend their strike still holds, despite the rejection of same by some chapters.

According to him, the voting by the University of Ghana (UG) and University of Education, Winneba (UEW) chapters against the suspension of their strike does not nullify the earlier decision by their national body.

“Even though the two have voted ‘no’, it really does not affect the position of NEC. What currently stands now is that no university in Ghana is on strike, unless of course there is another union. But so far as we are concerned, when it comes to the public universities, all teachers under UTAG have suspended their strike,” he stressed.

Speaking in an interview on Prime Morning on Thursday, February 24, Kwasi Kwarteng explained that “for there to be a reverse decision, NEC will have to vote in a different way where majority will say ‘we are no longer suspending the strike’.”

“You may disagree with the decision of NEC and that is what the University of Ghana and the University of Education, Winneba demonstrated during their votes but it really does not nullify the decision of NEC,” he told Prime Morning Host, Emefa Adeti.

“If you look at the structure of UTAG, vis-à-vis their NEC being the final decision making body of the union, what happens is that when NEC makes a decision, the majority decision is binding. You have about 15 UTAG institutions, what we needed to make a very concrete decision is a majority decision of 8 of them.”

Mr. Kwarteng noted that the government will continue to engage other chapters of UTAG with the hope of ending the stalemate and getting all lecturers to return to the classroom.

He revealed that government will be meeting the leadership of UTAG today, February 24 to begin engagements.

“I take this medium to explain to our parents that if you have your ward in the University of Ghana or University of Education, the fact that their lecturers voted ‘no’ does not mean they are on strike, they are still working and that is the decision of NEC,” he assured.

On Wednesday, February 23, the University of Ghana (UG) branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), voted against a decision by the National Executive Committee of the Association to suspend its nationwide strike.

‘No public university is on strike, UTAG lecturers have suspended their strike’ – Education Ministry
Results of UTAG-UG’s votes on suspension of strike

In a tally result signed by the Electoral Commissioner of the chapter, Dr. Innocent Lawson, 596 UTAG members voted against the suspension of the strike; while some 127 others voted to accept the decision by the National Executive Committee of UTAG to suspend the strike.

This means that out of the total of 723 UTAG-UG members who voted, 82.4% want the strike to continue, while 17.6% want academic work to resume.

Based on the outcome of the vote, academic work still remains on hold at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Similarly, lecturers of the University of Education, Winneba have rejected the suspension of the industrial action.

However, lecturers at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Cape Coast (UCC), University of Development Studies (UDS) and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) are set to begin academic work on Monday, February 28.