Education Ministry Spokesperson, Kwasi Kwarteng

The Education Ministry has appealed to the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to demonstrate some level of flexibility during negotiations in order to end the ongoing industrial action.

According to the Spokesperson of the Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng, the current impasse cannot be resolved if the parties continue to hold on to their entrenched positions, a situation he reckoned could prolong the strike.

Speaking in an interview on Accra-based Citi FM on Thursday, he noted that the Ministry has consistently been engaging UTAG; however, the engagements should be guided by the framework of the law.

“It is only at negotiations where you are able to address the critical and the specific issues that need to be addressed.”

“We will continue to appeal to the leadership of UTAG that there should be some level of flexibility and there should be a clear roadmap in building some concessions so that ultimately, we should be finding an end to the impasse,” he pleaded.

Out-of-court settlement

The Labour Division of the High Court has for the second time directed the National Labour Commission (NLC) and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), to settle the strike impasse out of court.

Both parties have been at a deadlock over the five-week period that the strike by UTAG has lasted.

The Court had previously on February 3, 2022 ordered UTAG and NLC to settle the matter out of court.

The two parties failed to do so. They were in court on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

UTAG and NLC have, thus, been urged to return to the negotiation table, engage and settle the impasse.

The case has been adjourned to Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

UTAG’s demands

UTAG wants the government to reconsider the payment of its annual research allowance to a more realistic allowance “as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development.”

They also want the 2013 Interim Market Premium (IMP) of 114% on Basic Salary restored.

The Association had bemoaned the current salary arrangement which has reduced its members’ basic premiums to $997.84 instead of the 2012 conditions of service which put entry level lecturers on a monthly pay of $2,084.42.