Workers Unions of the Simon Diedong University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS) in the Upper West region, has served notice, of industrial action, to the National Labour Commission (NLC).

According to the Unions, members will embark on the strike on August 2, 2021, if attempts by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to migrate the workers prematurely to Controller and Accountant General Department’s payroll, is not halted.

They also demanded that there should be clear arrangements for the payment of workers’ salaries. This must be communicated to them.

This was contained in a release issued to the press and signed by the various Union Presidents, Chairmen and Secretaries at the SDD-UBIDS, Tuesday.

The various Unions at SDD-UBIDS, namely; University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA), Senior Staff Association-University of Ghana (SSA-UoG), and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), wish to thank President Akufo-Addo for establishing the SDD-UBIDS as a Public University. They stated that it demonstrates the commitment of the President towards tertiary education.

They noted that although staff of SDD-UBIDS are rendering the best of their services under humbling conditions, the recent turn of events, is negatively affecting staff morale and enthusiasm.

“We wish to draw the attention of the President to a clandestine move by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to migrate staff of SDD-UBIDS alongside CK Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CK-UTAS) on to the Controller and Accountant General Department’s payroll (IPPD2) in violation of the conditions precedent in the recent agreement between the University Workers Union in Ghana, CAGD and GTEC under the National Labour Commission (NLC).

“Key among the conditions precedent for the CAGD’s IPPD2 migration include; IPPD2 application and add-ons to be installed at the various campuses, Finance Directorates and personnel to be trained on the use of the IPPD2 system without the direct involvement of CAGD and Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) to undertake a 3-month test run with existing payroll data, in parallel to the present payroll system of the individual campuses so as to rectify all discrepancies.

“Also included in the conditions precedent, is that the status quo at all campuses should remain as directed by the NLC, until these conditions are met and a memorandum of agreement signed between the Workers Unions and the CAGD,’’ they further stated.

They were however quick to add that, ‘‘as of now, none of these has happened on the SDD-UBIDS campus- no installation of the IPPD2 infrastructure, no training of staff and no test run’’.

The Executives of the Workers Unions are of the belief that GTEC is trying to exploit the financial and resource vulnerability of SDD-UBIDS to forcefully migrate staff to CAGD.

The move, they described as highly unethical and unlawful, for state institutions to take advantage of the vulnerability of other institutions and persons.

The Workers Unions said that they have taken particular notice of the negative posturing of GTEC towards SDD-UBIDS alleging that the ‘‘Prof Mohammed Salifu led GTEC in cahoots with other state agencies, tried to consistently undermine SDD-UBIDS in several forms, including, granting limited slots for staff recruitment, training, impeding the creation of faculties, and running of academic programmes, characterizing staff of SDD-UBIDS as newly recruited staff, recommending for SDD-UBIDS staff to be placed on condition of service (salaries and allowances) below other Public Universities and the unrelenting attempt to isolate and migrate SDD-UBIDS to CAGDs pay roll prematurely.’’

They also alleged that GTEC has forcefully placed the Vice Chancellor, acting Pro-Vice Chancellor and the Financial Director on salaries and allowances below what their counterparts are earning in other Public Universities.

‘‘We are therefore absolutely convinced that this intended migration will lead to reduced salaries and allowances of the workers of SDD-UBIDS.

This discrimination and undermining of staff and the University must seize henceforth. The SDD-UBIDS was created by an Act of Parliament as a Public University and any attempt to reduce its competitiveness will be met with great hostility,’’ they warned.