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National President of the Technical Universities Workers Association of Ghana (TUWAG) Nana Kwapong Offei-Boohene has stated that his union gives its support and commitment to the strike action by the Technical Universities Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG).
“The migration issue affects all of us at the technical universities. So, if they have taken the lead over it then definitely they have our support and commitment.”
Nana Kwapong Offei-Boohene explained that negotiators on the side of government have not been transparent with the process of migration.
“The NCTE led a delegation to come and do an assessment of staff to enable the migration. That has been long completed but since then we have not seen our way clear.”
He added that “last month [the various technical university unions] had a letter from the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission addressed to the Ministry of Finance that they have finished everything and so we should be migrated”.
“The Deputy Finance Minister then directed the Controller and Accountant General to start payment. Unfortunately, the Controller and Accountant General wrote to us that they have finished processing their data for that month and so we had to wait for September.”
He said when they received their September salaries, however, “we saw that it is only the basic for senior members”.
“What is even more shocking is that the salaries came without our allowances. That to us is a total breach of the agreement.”
Position of TUSAAG
The President of the Takoradi Technical University chapter of the Technical Universities Senior Administrators Association of Ghana (TUSAAG), Joseph Mensah Oti Asirifi, revealed to 3news.com that they have already issued a one-week ultimatum to the National Labor Commission to honour agreements reached over their migration or they will also embark on a strike.
He stated the issues that affect TUTAG equally affect them and will not hesitate to lay down their tools if the migration issue remains unresolved.
“The conditions of service for technical universities are the same and therefore issues over it do not affect members in isolation. We have been at the negotiating table with our colleague teachers and other unions to ensure we are all migrated unto the public university’s salary structure at the same time. Government agencies like the National Council for Tertiary Education, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education have in their own wisdom been engaging the unions sometimes in groups, sometimes in isolation. The fallout from these meetings are a departure from agreements reached”.
He added: “We have therefore issued a seven-day ultimatum in the form of a reminder to the [National] Labour Commission to respond immediately to agreements reached. If by next week Friday those agreements are not met, we will have no option but to also resort to industrial action.”
Impact of strike by TUTAG
When 3news.com visited the Takoradi Technical University’s main library it was deserted. Only the administrators were on duty.
The doors to some of the lecture halls were also under lock and key.
However, a handful of the students had occupied some lecture halls and were studying on their own.
The students were not aware of the reason for the strike but pleaded with government to resolve the issue as soon as possible in order not to disrupt the academic calendar.
At one lecture hall, the Vice President of the ICT Department, Foster Owusu, was leading students of the department in a private session.
“After the strike was declared, we met as a department and agreed that we will be organizing private session until such time our lecturers come back. So, for four hours everyday, we have decided to meet and go over some areas on the curriculum.”
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana