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UTAG strike is due to Akufo-Addo’s bad leadership – KNUST TEIN

Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Source: 3news.com

Executives of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) branch of the Tertiary Educational Institutions Network (TEIN) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for failing to ensure that the concerns of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) are resolved to enable them to return to the classrooms to teach.

A statement said students of the universities have been hardest hit by the UTAG strike.

“We are deeply worried as students have become the bargaining chips in this industrial conflict which government has consistently and calculatedly turned a deaf ear to.

“As scheduled on the academic calendar, we were supposed to have started our end of semester exams on Monday, the 2nd of August which is last week, however, the strike has naturally made it impossible for this to happen.

“Students are now stranded on various campuses as they are uninformed about the progress in the matter. We do believe that this strike action can completely disrupt the academic calendar and have adverse consequences on students should the government fail to urgently come to the table to draw a concrete roadmap towards building consensus with UTAG to ensure the resolution of the impasse.”

Below is the full statement:

As a student association, we want to voice our concern about this unfortunate development which the government has clearly failed to do enough to resolve.

In a letter dated 15th July 2021, the government was given adequate notice of an industrial action UTAG threatened to embark on should their demands not be met satisfactorily.

The intended industrial action subsequently materialized after the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government failed to address the concerns of UTAG.

The strike commenced on 2nd August and has since not taken any positive turn. It now appears that negotiations have been bogged down by a legal tussle between UTAG and the National Labour Commission whose duty ideally is to function as the middle voice to trumpet the grievances of UTAG for proper redress by this clearly irresponsible government.

It is evident that the government through its non – chalant demeanor does not wish for our lecturers to restore their indispensable services so that normalcy can return to the academic front.

The students of our universities have been hardest hit by this strike as a result of the serious ramifications emanating from the decision by UTAG. We are deeply worried as students have become the bargaining chips in this industrial conflict which the government has consistently and calculatedly turned a deaf ear to.

As scheduled on the academic calendar, we were supposed to have started our end-of-semester exams on Monday, the 2nd of August which is last week, however, the strike has naturally made it impossible for this to happen.

Students are now stranded on various campuses as they are uninformed about the progress in the matter. We do believe that this strike action can completely disrupt the academic calendar and have adverse consequences on students should the government fail to urgently come to the table to draw a concrete roadmap towards building consensus with UTAG to ensure the resolution of the impasse.

The prospects of Ghanaian students who will be leaders in the not-too-distant future is at stake and we cannot afford to annihilate it because of the government’s stark insensitivity.

This deepening crisis is a clear indication that this Akuffo Addo/Bawumia government does not prioritize the welfare of students and teachers and we cannot avoid the obvious conclusion that this is the result of bad leadership.

We of TEIN – KNUST declare our unalloyed allegiance and solidarity with our long-suffering lecturers whose sacrifices have gone unrewarded for a long time.

Professionalism in our country Ghana is largely a function of the struggle of these noble men and women. Posterity would have us to blame should we join the nonchalant government of the day in their silence with regard to this course.

We say, UTAG deserves better, our Lectures need to be treated under the best of conditions possible.

We stand with them as far as is necessary to ensure that their plight is addressed. A win for UTAG is salvation for our professionals, a win for UTAG is salvation for intellectualism and industrial development. It would be highly injurious to our future should we be silent on this issue. We would continue to unequivocally voice, as TEIN-KNUST, our solidarity with our Lecturers as we believe their cause is a just one.

The damaging impact of this strike action is entire to be blamed on the insensitivity of this government and its misuse of scarce National resources on the creature comforts of NPP officials as well as the rampant corruption that has dissipated resources that could be used to enhance the welfare of Ghanaians including Lecturers.

We call on the government to put an end to the obstinacy and engage all stakeholders to swiftly negotiate with UTAG using the appropriate channels to have a blueprint on the way forward for the strike to be urgently called off to restore academic normalcy.

It should not be the usual lip service the government indulges in.

We want to see concrete steps aimed at resolving this protracted strike.

Source: 3news.com
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