The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has hinted of a nationwide strike beginning Monday, 18 September 2017 in solidarity with their colleagues at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).The move, according to the local president of UTAG at the UEW, Dr Samuel Bekoe, is in solidarity with push for a speedy resolution of the impasse that has resulted in several weeks of strike action by lecturers on that campus.
UEW lecturers have accused the governing council of the University of showing no commitment to resolving their matter.
The lecturers are unhappy with a court ruling which ordered the Vice Chancellor, Professor Mawutor Avoke, and the Chief Finance Officer to hand over to the Pro-Vice Chancellor because they were appointed by a governing council whose mandate had expired.
They also want the chairman of the new university council, Professor Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah, replaced and the council to stay off their private fund.
Speaking in an interview with Class News, Mr Bekoe hinted of a nationwide UTAG strike action on Monday to support their course if their issues have not been addressed by then.
He told Jonas Ofori-Yeboah: “We are on contract to teach within a certain environment and if the environment in which we are to perform our function as employees of the university is not conducive then it will not be effective for us to do our work and so that is exactly the situation we find ourselves. Currently we are not in a good environment to do our work effectively. So for the students who will suffer, if they have any concerns they should address it to the university because the university gave them admission and promised to give them tuition.
“We are staying out of the lecture room until two of the [suspended] officers are brought back and also, hands stay off completely from our private fund and investment.
“Yesterday, we [UTAG] had a national executive committee meeting and the decision we took there was that UEW UTAG should continue with the current strike and then on Monday, UEW will be joined by all other public universities in Ghana. So from Monday it’s going to be a total national strike.”
UEW has been in the news for some time, following a court action instituted by a private citizen, Supi Kofi Kwayera, against the school, arguing that, the Vice Chancellor and Finance Manager were taking decisions under a governing council whose mandate had expired in 2013.
The plaintiff, acting through his lawyer, Alex Afenyo Markin, is seeking the following reliefs currently before the High Court in Winneba: A declaration that the extension of the mandate of the governing council of the 1st respondent by the 2nd respondent to stay in office to perform such functions as a properly appointed council was in breach of Section 8, Act 672.
A declaration that all decisions taken by the defacto body of persons who constituted themselves as governing council is null and void and of no effect.
A declaration that the contracts awarded to Sparkxx Gh Ltd, Paabadu Construction and C-Deck, were done in breach of the Procurement Act (Act 663).
A declaration that all payments made to Lamas Ltd were done without the express written consent of the Ghana Highway Authority, and in breach of the Memorandum of Understanding and same must be refunded.
A declaration that the illegally appointed Principal Officers of the 1st respondent wilfully misappropriated public funds by failing to put to public tender for the construction of the North campus road and thereby causing financial loss to the state.