Secretary of the University of Ghana chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UG UTAG), Prof. Ransford Gyampo, has indicated that the Association has had enough engagements and negotiations with the government over their concerns.
“We have been engaging on our conditions of service from 2013 up till now. We can’t engage in perpetuity. We don’t eat engagements and negotiations,” he said.
Speaking on JoyFM’s Super Morning Show, he stated that until their demands are met, they will not return to work, nor hold any negotiations with the government since negotiations over the years have not yielded any positive results.
Prof. Gyampo was contributing to discussions that centered on the current UTAG strike and the way forward.
In the course of the discussion, the CEO of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) Mr. Ben Arthur entreated members of UTAG to resort to laid down procedures in seeking solutions to their concerns. He stated that his outfit is always ready to sit with them at the negotiation table.
“I’ll take this opportunity to appeal to our lecturers that for us, there’s a need to engage, and when we have grievances, let us use the laid down procedures for addressing them and that they should call off the strike,” he said.
“The wage mechanism in Ghana depends largely on collective bargaining mechanisms, so definitely, if there are issues with terms and conditions, our approach is that we need to engage on them,” he added.
Mr. Arthur also intimated that all public sector workers are being offered fair wages (based on productivity and the ability of the employer [i.e] government to pay.)
But in a reaction, Prof Gyampo described Mr. Arthur’s comments as “nauseating.” He accused Mr. Arthur of being a propagandist instead of doing his job as the head of the FWSC.
“Our people are saying that they are not being paid fairly. We teach people today, they get out of school tomorrow, they become Article 7 officeholders, then they see us and mock us telling us that being a teacher was our choice but we all can’t leave the classroom to go join politics,” he lamented.
He added that the Association is “prepared to destabilise your [the Fair Wages Commission] salary structure [for public sector workers] such that we would build a certain form of equilibrium in our salary structure. We’ll fight till our conditions of service becomes a reality.”
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