The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) says it may announce a new strike if most of its chapters vote to reject the National Executive Committee (NEC)’s decision to suspend the current strike.

National President of the Association, Prof Solomon Nunoo, indicated that UTAG’s NEC will hold an extraordinary meeting to choose a new date for the next industrial action if at least eight member campuses vote to continue with the strike.

Speaking in an interview on Newsfile, he explained that despite the National Labour Commission’s (NLC) injunction over the earlier strike, the lecturers can declare a new one.

“As of yesterday [February 25], we had five campuses voting to reject the suspension, whereas two campuses have confirmed the suspension. The rest of the campuses, eight of them, will have their voting done on Monday. It’s a simple majority, so we are looking at eight campuses, and we’d have to decide on the date for the next strike action.”

“At the end of the referendum, we’d collate the results. After the collation, the next step is that if a majority of the members say we need to continue with the strike, then an extraordinary meeting of the National Executive Committee will have to be constituted to determine the date for the next strike action,” he said.

Prof Nunoo noted that if negotiations continue as planned, there may not be a need to begin a new strike.

“For us, the most important thing in all of this is that if the conditions of service of the university teacher are improved, then there wouldn’t be any need for us to be on strike.”

“If whatever is offered to the university teacher is exactly what we’re looking for or within the limits of what we’re looking for, then there wouldn’t be the need to be on strike,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that UTAG will be having an in-house meeting with government from Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

He added that “throughout Wednesday, Thursday and possibly Friday, we’d have a continuous engagement to iron out whatever differences there are and to finalise things.”

Education Ministry’s response

A 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.

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 said.