General News Fri, 28 Jan 2022

UTAG strike can end if Akufo-Addo speaks

UTAG on indefinite strike

Students without teachers since January 10, this year

UTAG warns of disinterest by international students to study in Ghana

Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have given an indication of what could get them to a point of possibly calling off their two-weeks old nationwide strike.

According to Dr. Eric Kwabena Kyeh Abavare, the KNUST UTAG Vice President, a simple word from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have done a lot of good in the ongoing situation.

UTAG begun an early year strike on January 10, 2022, and its members have since stayed away from the classrooms, vowing not to return until the government addresses their concerns for better conditions of service.

The group is also asking the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government to restore the 2013 interim market premium of 114%, arrived at when UTAG and the government concluded negotiations at the time, reports citinewsroom.com.

Dr. Kyeh Abavare said that just as the former president, John Agyekum Kufuor, did during his era, a word from the sitting president could have been of great help in resolving the current impasse.

“I do not for once blame the employer’s assigns because you can see genuine effort on their part. But they don’t have the ability (to resolve our issues). The President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, I think a word from him can neutralize all this. What is the lecturer’s basic salary in the first place?

“Everything put together is even less than GH¢8000 if 114% is used. So, what is so huge that we are being overly demanding? Let me give you an example, in 2006/2007, during the era of former president Kufuor, UTAG was in the same situation. He (Former President John Agyekum Kufuor) only just spoke. He told Dr. Baah Wiredu of blessed memory, that go and sort these guys out and that’s where we got our $1,500 dollars in that period,” he said.

Comparing the current situation in Ghana with other African countries like Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, among others, UTAG has maintained they are one of the least paid on the continent because of the failure by the relevant authorities to address their demands.

They also urged the government to speed up the process or risk a potential disinterest by foreign students to want to study in Ghana going forward.

“When was the last time government brought in subvention? International students troop in here because of the quality of education we provide here. If we do not safeguard and protect it, they will keep their monies in their various countries because what they are experiencing in their countries is prompting them to come here. If they are going to be experiencing the same, what’s the point of coming here?” Dr. Eric Kwabena Kyeh Abavare added.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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