Pay Research Allowance Now To Avoid Strike – POTAG Warns

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The Takoradi Polytechnic Chapter of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana, (POTAG), has asked Government to speed up the payment of this year’s book and research allowances, in order to avoid the distraction of the 2016/2017 academic year for tertiary institutions, as has been recorded in the past.

POTAG’s demand follows a similar one by the University Teachers Association of Ghana, (UTAG).

POTAG in a statement urged government to immediately release the monies to prevent lecturers from becoming agitated, since the 2015/2016 academic year has already ended.

In a statement signed by the Vice Chairman of POTAG, Takoradi Polytechnic chapter, Eric Kwadwo Amissah, a Senior Lecturer, he said “We Takoradi Polytechnic Teachers’ Association of Ghana (POTAG) Takoradi Local Chapter want to call on the Government to promptly pay the Book Allowance and Research Allowance for the 2015/2016 academic year to avoid the annual agitations and strikes associated with the delay in the payment of the aforementioned allowances.”

“We have observed that, Government within the last six years has consistently delayed the payment of Book Allowance and Research Allowance after every academic year and this action has resulted in agitations and strikes on many Polytechnic campuses which have over the years, significantly affected academic work.”

The statement added that, “To this end, we wish to call on Government and especially Ministry of Education, to quicken the various processes and procedures of sanctioning payment of book allowance and research allowance due all Polytechnic Lecturers in Ghana, since the 2015/2016 academic year has already ended.”

According to him, they had expected that the release of the allowances for this academic year would have been swift following some assurances by government.

“Based on what the Deputy Minister in Charge of Tertiary Education said at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, it was expected that the payment of the allowances under discussion would have been paid latest by the end of June 2016. However, checks at the various quarters dealing with the payments clearly show that dust is being thrown into the eyes of the leadership of POTAG and its members.”

On government’s intention to establish a National Research Fund and possibly scrap the annual payment of the allowances, POTAG, said government can go ahead to institute the fund, but must retain the payment of the allowances.

“On the issue of Research Fund, we appreciate the Government’s decision to set-up a National Research Fund since it will help improve research for national development. We however wish to remind Government on the need to continue to the pay Book Allowance and Research Allowances due Polytechnic Lecturers since they remain integral parts of our conditions of service, and that their payments must continue until we conclude negotiations with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to upwardly review the existing conditions of service.”

“Finally, we wish to call on Government and Ministry of Education to abide by the promise of sanctioning payment early to avoid academic disruption during 2016/2017 academic year which kicks start the opening of a Technical Universities across the country,” the statement ended.

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