Deputy Ranking Member on Education Committee in Parliament, Dr. Clement Apaak has said that government has been unfair in dealing with the demands of the University Teacher’s Association of Ghana (UTAG).
He said the government has so far not shown sincerity and honesty in resolving the impasse.
Speaking with JoyNews on Friday, Mr. Apaak noted that the employer must be blamed for failing to honour its assurances made last year when UTAG threatened the strike action.
“We ought not to be blaming the lecturers, we ought to be blaming the employer, in this case government, for failing to fulfill its obligations, including pledges and assurances when UTAG sometime last year decided to put down its tools.
In the case of government dealing with UTAG, I don’t think that government has dealt with UTAG fairly and the government clearly has not shown sincerity in as far as the impasse is concerned,” he said.
According to Dr. Clement Apaak, for the impasse to be resolved, government must do the needful.
“If this issue is going to be resolved, it is going to have to take government to do the needful because there are assurances given and the pledges that were made were the reasons why UTAG decided to go back to the classroom last year,” he added.
At a meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2022, which was attended by Employment Minister, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, Deputy Finance Minister Abena Osei Asare, and representatives from the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and UTAG National Executives, the National Labour Commission (NLC) declared UTAG’s strike as illegal.
According to the Commission, the Association did not follow the laid down procedures in declaring the strike.
The NLC, therefore, directed UTAG to sit with the employer to resolve the impasse.
UTAG however raised concerns over the decision by the NLC. National President of UTAG, Solomon Nunoo, said the association disagrees with the NLC.
“So this afternoon, we met the NLC to discuss our ongoing strike action, that is UTAG. So in the view of the panel that met us, it’s their considered opinion that the strike action is illegal but we thought otherwise, so as at now, we are going to meet our constituents.
The concerns we raised, they believe that the concerns are legal, we have a case, but they believe that we should sit with our employer and talk a little more,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah has assured Ghanaians of government’s commitment to ensuring that the issues are resolved to ensure a conducive academic atmosphere.
“We came to the Labour Commission to help us resolve an impasse between the government and University Teacher’s Association. The Commission has advised us on the way forward and we will revert to go and work and come back,” he said.