Professor Ransford Gyampo, a Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana has fired the government’s negotiation team describing them as incompetent in their attempts to resolve the issues that led to the strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
He explained that the government has been negotiating with the leadership of UTAG for the last 10 years but has not been able to resolve their grievances.
“I think there’s a way out in my view [but] some of us have called for an independent third party to intervene because as far as I’m concerned those who have negotiated on government’s behalf have been abysmal and demonstrated much incompetence.
“We have been negotiating since 2012 and today I heard there’s a meeting to discuss a roadmap to negotiation. They are not going to negotiate. I find it laughable. University teachers do not eat meetings and negotiations. We have gone through these negotiations for almost ten years, how many more years do you want us to negotiate? Tell us so we tell UTAG members so that we know we’re negotiating in perpetuity,” Professor Gyampo said
UTAG commenced an indefinite strike action last August 2, over poor conditions of service and the failure of the government to resolve long-standing grievances.
The NLC has, however, stated that the action is not legal especially since the leadership of the association is still negotiating with the government over their demands. The NLC then moved to secure a 10-day interlocutory injunction on the strike by UTAG.
All 13-member universities of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have since unanimously agreed to continue with their strike despite the suit against it by the National Labour Commission (NLC).
UTAG backed their actions by a statement on Monday, portions of which read: “Following the stalling of negotiations with the government on our Conditions of Service (CoS), which culminated in our declaration of a nationwide withdrawal of teaching and related activities among member public universities, all local branch executives were tasked by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to convene an emergency meeting to solicit the views of members on the way forward.
“The consensus is that the withdrawal of teaching and related activities must continue until the government puts some enhanced and progressive proposals on the table. The call is also for us to remain focused, united and resolute in our quest to ensure that government initiates and implements appropriate measures to improve our CoS”.