Political science lecturer at University of Ghana, Legon, Prof Ransford Gyampo

It appears University lecturers may resume their strike action in the next few days if no decisive action is taken by government to resolve their concerns.

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) embarked on a strike from August 2, 2021 to protest what they say is their poor conditions of service.

After two weeks of the strike, they reached an agreement with government to suspend their strike action and resume negotiation for a mandatory 30 days, with the hope that their concerns will be addressed.

Among others, the University Teachers Association of Ghana wanted government to pay entry level lecturers $2,084.

But with the mandatory 30 days almost expiring, Secretary of the University of Ghana branch of UTAG, Professor Ransford Gyampo says nothing concrete has been agreed on in their negotiation with government.

According to Professor Gyampo, who has written an open letter to President Akufo-Addo and the Vice President, the situation has generated considerable disquiet among lecturers who are angry about the lack of progress.

“As you may be aware, some of us have deliberately been quiet about what has been happening following UTAG’s decision to temporarily suspend its strike and return to the negotiations table. We believe the stakeholders needed some peace of mind to talk.”

“I however wish to respectfully remind you that the one month negotiation period expires in five days. Unfortunately, as of now, nothing concrete has been achieved. As you may be aware, some of us had to practically beg our members to agree to suspend the strike action for negotiations because, we knew that you were both worried about the impasse and were very much resolved to bring finality to the matter.”

He continued that the Finance Minister has failed to attend any of the meetings convened, “Unfortunately, I repeat, nothing concrete has been achieved. I am told, much of the issues have to do with your Finance Minister, who is still not attending meetings himself, but delegating, probably, because he sees UTAG matters as trivial. He may continue to treat us like rags, but when there is mobilization of the anger of University Teachers in a manner that creates a praetorian situation, the bucks would stop with you in dealing with the mess.”

He is calling on the President and his Vice to immediately find a solution to the issue to forestall another strike action.

“I respectfully urge you to intervene in this matter yourselves. For, no one can contain the anger of University Teachers should they be allowed to strike again, after the expiration of the one month negotiation period. A simple survey on the various campuses would give a sense of how bitter and angry they are, for the disrespectful manner in which they have been treated over the years.”

The two weeks strike of UTAG almost brought Public Universities to its knees, with University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and others suspending exams and explaining they could close the schools if action was not taken.

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