General News of 2014-08-25

POTAG drags gov’t to court over freeze on August salaries

The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) is heading to court to seek a stay of execution of government’s decision to stop August salaries of its members.

A source at the Ministry of Education hinted to Daily Graphic last week that a directive has been given the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to freeze salaries of the striking polytechnic teachers.

Speaking on TV3’s Midday Live on Monday, August 25, however, James Dugrah, the National President of POTAG, said members’ services in the classrooms is just two out of 21 services they render.

“Teaching is just a product of our work,” he pointed out.

He said POTAG is heading to court, unsavoury as that step is to it, to get government to stop that decision.

“When we reach there, we will look at the situation on the ground,” Mr Dugrah said on Monday.

POTAG has been on strike since May 15, 2014 over non-payment of members’ Book and Research Allowance, which government has replaced with the National Research Fund.

According to the POTAG President, government’s posture is what is restraining them from returning to the lecture halls.

“It is very funny,” Mr Dugrah mentioned.

“The stand [of government] was that they don’t owe us and they won’t pay.”

He indicated that they had not wished their labour issues to be sent to court “but we were dragged to court by the National Labour Commission."

The POTAG strike has led to the multiple closures of some polytechnics in the country with students hardest hit.

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