The governing council of the University of Education Winneba has justified the suspension, demotion and dismissal of some staff which triggered violent protest last week leading to the closure of two campuses of the university.
UTAG UEW branch had on March 17 written to the university council pleading for some 30 staff it claimed were sacked, demoted or suspended under the vice chancellor Prof Rev Afful-Broni, to be reinstated.
But the council said in a statement Monday held that due processes were followed in arriving at the decision, hence served notice it will not allow itself to be pushed into reinstating the affected staff accused of breaches of the university statute.
“Any staff who have been dismissed, suspended, or demoted or have had their appointments terminated were taken through the due processes of the law,” the council said in the statement signed by the council chair Prof E.N. Abakah said.
Notwithstanding, the council said it will welcome any petition from the affected staff who wish for their cases to be relooked into before any further decision could be taken to either reinstate, reverse the suspension or demotion.
It explained the decision to relook at the case of the affected staff was borne out of pleas by “well-meaning” and respected Ghanaian personalities.
“…the Governing Council will consider any petition that it may receive from affected staff. However, Council wishes to add that such review will be on case by case basis,” the statement indicated.
The council chastised UTAG for making what is described as false misrepresentation of facts regarding the action taken against the affected staff.
It dismissed UTAG’s claim that the actions taken against the affected persons were done by the vice chancellor, stating “dismissal or termination of appointment is always at the instance of the Governing Council and never that of the Vice-Chancellor”.
“The Governing Council takes full responsibility for all the disciplinary decisions and asks UTAG to leave the Vice-Chancellor alone,” the statement said.
Power play at the university involving some top management staff has in the past year caused a seeming crisis in the school following what some described as unlawful removal of Prof Mawutor Avoke as the Vice chancellor.
Several others including senior lecturers of the university, have since been sacked, suspended and demoted allegedly by Rev Prof Afful-Broni whose appointment as the VC was said to have been influenced by MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo Markin.
But that triggered waves of protest from the students but an attempt by the Police last Thursday to quell one of such protest turned violence following the firing of warning shots and teargas which injured some of the protestors who retaliated by pelting the police.
Few hours after the incident, Central Regional Security Council declared the Winneba and Ajumako campuses of the university indefinitely closed, to protect lives and properties.
Education Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh on Friday held a meeting between the factions in the crisis in a bid to resolve same as he said it was a “source of worry” to his ministry and other stakeholders.
After the meeting, he posted on Facebook: the “differences were addressed and settled with an agreement to collaborate in addressing issues that affect stakeholders directly and indirectly.”
But on Monday, Secretary to UTAGE-UEW, Dr. Ahmed Jinapor Abdulai wrote to the chairman of the governing council pleading for those who have been dismissed, suspended or demoted to be reinstated in line with the meeting between the factions.
“…the University Teachers Association of Ghana UTAG-UEW write to humbly and respectively plead with your to reverse decisions taken by the University in connection with dismissals, termination of appointments, suspensions and demotions of the under listed staff of the university and those unintentionally omitted”.
Attached to the said letter were 23 names.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana