Striking University teachers say that they are still out of the classroom because their employer and mediators have taken them for granted.
Speaking to Lantam Papanko on Starr Today Monday, the President of UTAG at the University of Ghana-Legon, Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan said until the time they threatened to embark on the strike, the Minister of Finance and his deputies had never been to any of their meetings.
According to him, the only time the Minister attended their meeting, he told them their demand and that the state cannot afford it.
“So if you are on a negotiation table and I said I want A and you cannot offer me A, the expectation is that, well the A you are asking for is huge could we give you B then we can say that we are negotiating. But if you come to the table and ask the question where we should expect you to get the money from to pay us. That gave the sense to UTAG that negotiation was not going on all this while, and that it was just either strategic to waste our time or to say that it didn’t matter,” he narrated.
Dr. Nkumbaah further explained that “the August agreement that we signed if you recall NLC was in court to compel us to go back. The government intervenes and indicated that we had a point in terms of the kind of engagement that had gone on. On which we are unhappy about and declared the industrial action.”
“So an agreement was reached which NLC was the one that broke the deal that within a month we should resolve all outstanding matters. We extended the date to the end of December which should have been done by September 2021. But we didn’t get matters resolved. What has NLC done by the fact that the government did not abide by the agreement we signed in August of last year? Absolutely nothing so to speak,” he disclosed.
The National Labour Commission (NLC), some few weeks back declared the ongoing strike by UTAG as illegal and have initiated legal actions against the association.
In responding to this, the UG-UTAG President said they have put a team of lawyers in place to respond to the court action.
However, the strike is entering the fourth week which might cause the Universities to close-down after 21 working days if the teachers do not return to the classroom.