…as UTAG suspends strike
Academic work has resumed at the various university campuses across the nation, following the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) decision to suspend its most recent strike action.
This comes in the wake of an emergency meeting between leaders of the Association, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the National Labour Commission (NLC) on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 when UTAG expressed its readiness to return to the negotiation table.
Both parties – government and UTAG – have also resolved to discontinue the legal processes concerning the protracted strike action, and set a one-month timeline to settle all outstanding issues.
The development has brought relief to students, particularly those in the final year of their programmes.
Members of UTAG have been on strike since the beginning of August over dissatisfaction with their conditions of service.
They argued that the Single Spine structure agreed upon in 2012 would have entry-level lecturers on a salary of US$2,084 monthly, as opposed to the current US$900 on average.
A visit to the various campuses of the University for Development Studies (UDS) showed little sign of in-class academic activity. However, information gathered by the B&FT indicates that UTAG has returned to class.
Similarly, checks at the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS) – as well as the C.K Tedam University of Technology and Applied Science in Wa of the Upper West and Upper East of Bolgatanga respectively – indicate that lecturers have resumed work.
Dr. Felix Longi, UTAG chairman at UDS, confirmed to the B&FT that members of the Association have returned to lecture halls – with academic activity expected to pick up pace during the course of the week.
“We have started marking examination papers, supervising the final-year project work and others to ensure that the final-year group meet the requirements to enable them graduate,” he said.
He said final-year students have also been asked to report to their various campuses in order to continue with their academic work.
Some students who spoke to the B&FT were elated by the return of their lecturers. They said the development has allayed fears that they would not graduate on schedule due to delays caused by the strike, and the previous disruptions to their schedules brought about by the ongoing pandemic.