Political Science lecturer, University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has expressed concerns about the way the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is treating lecturers, despite enjoying their support in the 2016 general election.

In a nine point Facebook article on Thursday, he reiterated the stance of lecturers, and the need for government to swiftly address their demands. As part of his submissions, Professor Gyampo said based on his knowledge of a recent research, majority of lecturers across the country rallied behind the NPP in 2016, leading to the party’s victory against the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According him, he therefore does not understand why lecturers are struggling under the same regime they helped to bring into power.

“In a recent study whose findings I am privy to, the current regime won massive support from lecturers in the election that got it to power. Out of the over 81 polling stations across public tertiary institutions, the party of the current regime won 69. But see how they are now treating lecturers? May this palpable sense of ingratitude to the cohort of citizenry, 78 percent of whom can be described as a base of the current regime, ginger lecturers to keep even more faith with this regime, even as its leaders strive to win more political souls to achieve the dream of breaking the 8”, Professor Gyampo stated.

Comparing the way lecturers are being treated in the current regime, the political science lecturer took a strong view on the threats to cut the salaries of lecturers if they do not return to the classroom. In his view, the threat will not augur well for the New Patriotic Party in their quest to break the eight year regime tenure cycle.

“We know how lecturers fighting for better Conditions of Service in 1995, under Jerry Rawlings (a semi-dictator) were handled, and we gladly will compare it to how we are currently being treated by a regime headed by a democrat, a good constitutional lawyer and a very much known human rights activist who has himself led demonstrations before. But, may the threat to cut salaries, demonstrate how serious the current government is, in its attempt to break the 8 year regime tenure cycle. May this threat end all meetings whose outcomes are inconsequential to UTAG’s demand for better Conditions of Service”, Professor Gyampo wrote.

On Monday, January 10, the University Teachers Association (UTAG), embarked on a nationwide strike, over poor conditions of service. According to the embattled lecturers, government has failed to honour its promises to them, despite series of meetings and negotiations, towards the improvement of their working conditions.

UTAG therefore stated that they will only return to the classroom, if all their concerns are addressed. But reacting to this, the National Labour Commission (NLC), described the moved by UTAG as illegal and urged the lecturers to resume work. The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) also added their voice to the call by NLC, and instructed UTAG to call of the industrial action.

However, in his Facebook post on Thursday, the Secretary of the University of Ghana branch of UTAG, Professor Gyampo disclosed that even though lecturers are not teaching, they are still performing other responsibilities.

“Lecturers teach, research and do extension activities. Teaching and Promotion are based preponderantly on research and it is our extension activities that contributes to the thinking and innovation resource base of the nation, as well as shapes the conduct of governance. In the current industrial action, only teaching has been withdrawn. All other duties are being performed. Yet a supposed independent arbiter has taken sides and clearly insinuating that salaries of lecturers be suspended, just because they are fighting for better Conditions of Service”, Professor Gyampo explained.

He also added that he and his colleagues are not happy about the strike, except that they can only resume their full responsibilities if government resolves their plights.

“If they have political strategists, let the competence of such individuals in the regime be judged by how quick they are able to push for a finality to be brought to this impasse. For, lecturers do not enjoy being on strike. We want to go back and teach, but under better Conditions of Service”, Professor Gyampo concluded.



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