At the time of going to press yesterday, the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) was putting efforts in place to call off its strike and return to the negotiation table.
That was after an emergency meeting leaders of the group had with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the National Labour Commission (NLC) yesterday.
Both Government and UTAG resolved to discontinue the legal processes concerning the protracted strike, and gave themselves one month to settle all outstanding issues.
A Memorandum of Agreement was accordingly signed by the government and UTAG after the meeting, as “both parties agree that there is a need to get back to the negotiating table from the week beginning Monday 23rd August 2021.”
Government and UTAG are expected to, among other things, negotiate the research component of the book and research Allowance, market premium and non-basic allowance.
Other issues agreed on by the parties are: “That both parties (Government and UTAG) agree that there is a need to get back to the negotiating table from the week beginning Monday, August 23, 2021; That a road for negotiation, as agreed at previous consultative meetings between the parties, which imposes a one-month mandatory period beginning 23rd August 2021 for negotiations, shall be signed by both parties; That whilst the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations in conjunction with the NLC is taking steps to discontinue all legal processes against UTAG, UTAG will also take steps to suspend the ongoing strike action; That government acknowledges the need to improve the working conditions of University Teachers and shall treat this will all the seriousness it deserves.”
Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) had been on strike since the beginning of August 2021. The action was to put pressure on the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon in 2012, which, according to them, was far better than the current conditions of service.
The 2012 Single Spine package put entry-level lecturers on a salary of $2,084 while the current level puts lecturers’ salaries around $900.