The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has suspended its industrial action indefinitely.
A jointly signed statement on Tuesday by the Association’s President, Prof Solomon Nunoo, and National Secretary, Dr Asare Asante-Annor, said members of UTAG were urged to “demonstrate good faith by returning to the lecture halls to teach.”
The Association in that breath also called on the employer to demonstrate same good faith by being committed to all agreements to help maintain industrial harmony.
“The days when the Employer treated UTAG with contempt and made promises that were not fulfilled are past. The NEC of UTAG would subject the Employer to strict proof and hold it accountable to every promise made and all signed agreements,” part of the statement added.
The statement recalled that the NEC of UTAG voted to temporarily suspend the strike action on Monday February 21, 2022 to pave way for negotiations with the employer to help meet some of the demands and address the concerns of UTAG.
To this end, the Association, in the ensuing referenda, pointed out that 12 out of the 15 UTAG branches voted to reject the call for the suspension of the strike action, signifying their lack of trust in the employer’s commitment to addressing their concerns and, thus, their resolve to continue with the strike action until their demands were met.
It added: “At the meeting, the NEC of UTAG received reports from the various branches in relation to the branch meetings held on Friday March 4, 2022. In general, the reports centred on the dissatisfaction of members on the arrangements put in place to address their demands. In this regard, the NEC of UTAG will endeavour to ensure that all concerns raised by members are reflected in whatever agreement to be signed between the Employer and UTAG”.
Notwithstanding the concerns raised, UTAG noted that members also considered the interventions of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and the eminent persons, which led to the temporary suspension of the strike action, in accepting the proposals.
The National Executive Council of UTAG has reiterated its awareness of the level of disappointment and dissatisfaction of members on the proposals to deal with the demands of members. However, the NEC of UTAG has also appealed to members to remain calm and accept these proposals as interim measures, as it works to ensure that they remain as such and ends in December 2022.
“The NEC of UTAG promises to monitor and police the full implementation of all agreements with the Employer, and to work with clear timelines and roadmaps to ensure that all promises and agreements are respected. There would no longer be reactionary measures but proactive interventions that would not wait till matters get out of hand before resorting to industrial actions,” it said.
The statement said NEC of UTAG has resolved to pursue the agreements for the employer to implement the Market Premium and/or review the Single Spine Salary Structure in 2023, to help address concerns of poor Conditions of Services of the University Teacher in full.
“After careful assessment of the referenda results, interim agreements reached between UTAG and the Employer, and the various branch reports, the NEC of UTAG resolved to indefinitely suspend the strike action of January 10, 2022,” it added.
The Association thanked all members for their patience and support, and pledged to act in a manner reflective of their mood at all times. It also thanked all stakeholders for their support and action to help address the needs of university teachers.