Editorial : Dialogue must not be encumbered


It is rather unfortunate that now that schools have re-opened after a long lull as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Teachers and Education Workers’ Union (TEWU) have embarked on an industrial action over what the union terms ‘unfair treatment by government’.

We understand that for about two years, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has been unable to address conditions of service of the Union. TEWU claims its members are working under a condition of service which has not been reviewed for close to 12 years.

According to the General Secretary of TEWU, Mr. Korankye, TEWU is frustrated that the FWSC has not prioritized negotiation on the new condition of service for unionized staff of public universities before the academic year commenced.

Indeed, TEWU’s point might be valid and they deserve better conditions of service since they are key stakeholders in the efficient running of universities. However, TEWU must acknowledge that government’s hands are tied owing to the negative economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy, and should be more accommodating with their demands.

We believe government would want to improve the working conditions of unionised staff of public universities but the economic circumstances are not favourable. Hence, we believe government would make some advances which might not be totally adequate but in the supreme interest of not derailing the current academic year, we grave the indulgence of TEWU to be measured in their demands because of the period we find ourselves in as a country.

There is a lot of pressure on government to meet financial obligations and we sincerely believe that when the occasion arises, government will make good on its word and offer TEWU something that meets their expectation.

The virus is still lurking around and this has been evidenced by the increasing case count following the Christmas festivities and we need to tackle this surge with all the arsenal at the disposal of government. That is not to say that workers are not entitled to their due remuneration.

We therefore humbly ask TEWU to return to the negotiation table and ‘jaw-jaw’ to find an acceptable solution.

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