GAUA nationwide strike continues 


The Ghana Association of University Administrators’ (GAUA) decision to embark on a strike action in demand for better conditions of service (CoS) has taken effect unabatedly, as the University Teachers Association of Ghana, University of Ghana chapter (UTAG-UG) has expressed solidarity with all sister-unions seeking to embark on strike.

Among other issues, it has cited the prevailing economic conditions as well as what it says is the government’s refusal to deliver on its promises as the reasons for its strike action.

GAUA said the decision was taken at an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on January 23, 2024.

It explained that the decision follows the government’s failure to address the problems facing senior administrators in the public universities enumerated and the penchant attitude of government agencies in handling issues affecting staff of the traditional universities.

“We hereby activate our advertised intention to declare an indefinite nationwide strike action effective Monday, 29th January, 2024 to drum home our dissatisfaction with the lethargic government attitude in resolving the issues raised and pending before the National Labour Commission (NLC),” the union stated.

Already, the Tertiary Education Workers Union (TEWU) has scheduled a date to join the strike of the Senior Staff Association of Public Universities, another public university workers body. Chairman of TEWU-Ghana at KNUST, Charles Arthur, is advocating negotiation of salaries for university staff to be reverted to the committee of Vice-Chancellors.

UTAG-UG, in a solidarity message, mentioned that the concerns raised by these unions are legitimate; hence, its assured support to all striking colleagues.

“It is rather unfortunate that people entrusted with authority to oversee the welfare of labour act irresponsibly by paying lip service to agreements reached, and unilaterally varying CoS to the disadvantage of labour without prior discourse, in blatant contravention of the law.

“There are clear guidelines on how and when Tier two pensions should be deducted and paid to appropriate managers for investment. Failure to follow due process in this regard deprives people of their rightfully earned pensions, leading to despondency when they retire. This is inhumane,” the statement signed by the President of UTAG-UG, Prof. Ransford Gyampo, stated.

UTAG-UG noted that it is also currently contemplating its course of action regarding its condition of service because of the government’s lackadaisical and contemptuous approach to negotiations.

“We understand that reward, satisfaction and productivity go hand-in-hand; and that UG-UTAG is likely to toe the same line of action and communicate to the government in the manner it better understands should this behaviour continue to persist.

“We can no longer cajole the government even as it remains disrespectful and unwilling to address pertinent labour concerns. The subtle attempt to use the coercive powers of the state to intimidate, harass and quell labour agitations without the government’s willingness to address their concerns is most regrettable,” the statement read.

It further expressed its intention to join the striking unions in positive defiance of any bogus attempt at using state institutions to fight against labour’s legitimate action.

According to UTAG-UG, the only way out of this quagmire is for the government to immediately address the demands of labour “in a manner devoid of the usual unseriousness, contempt, mediocrity and propaganda”.

“We urge the government to do the needful to halt the fast-worsening CoS of labour, and the possibility of joint industrial action that could shut down public universities in Ghana. The use of unfair and intimidating tactics to prevent the legitimate expression of lawful concerns would surely be met with resistance and disruption of industrial peace and harmony,” it stated.

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