The grievances of the members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have been resolved and all will be returning to the lecture halls to continue teaching, a National Executive Committee (NEC) member has said.
Dr Asare Asante-Annor, who is the National Secretary of UTAG, told Alfred Ocansey on TV3‘s News 360 on Friday, March 4 that they have received the highest assurances and the seven-week strike has been technically called off.
UTAG declared strike from Monday, January 10, demanding better conditions of service especially as regards entry pay for members.
After a tussle with the National Labour Commission (NLC) at the courts, there was an agreement for the Association to call off the strike in order to return to the negotiations table as per labour regulations.
The strike was, therefore, suspended on Monday, February 21 by a decision taken by the NEC at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
The 15 chapters at the various public universities across the country were given the right to vote to accept or reject the resolution of the NEC.
A large majority voted against the decision, beginning with the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
But NEC had given government up to Friday, March 4 to take a final decision on the industrial action.
Between that period the leadership met eminent personalities such as former President John Agyekum Kufuor and Sir Sam Jonah, who are Chancellors of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and University of Cape Coast (UCC) respectively, Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and government representatives.
“What we can say is that based upon the pleas of these eminent people, and then also the current situation at hand, we have been able to resolve our differences with the employer at the moment and also based on the assurances of the President of the Republic at the National Labour Conference that he is committed to finding a lasting solution to the problem,” Dr Asante-Annor stated.
“We hope that the current issues with the university teacher, issues of service, will be addressed. This is where we find ourselves.”
Asked if this meant the strike has been called off juxtaposing it with the votes by the chapters to reject NEC’s decision, Dr Asante-Annor insisted thus: “So as it stands now, first and foremost, we have been able to resolve the differences we had with the employer and so we will be returning to the classroom as we have already done.”