We’re looking for solutions to UTAG concerns – Akufo-Addo

We’re looking for solutions to UTAG concerns – Akufo-Addo

Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said “government is determined to find a solution to the issues that resulted in the strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG)”.

Mr Akufo-Addo speaking during the opening of the 2022 Labour Conference in Koforidua on Monday, February 28, 2022, reckoned that “the best form of negotiation is for both parties to exhibit good faith.

“In the wake of the recent six weeks strike by UTAG, the government is determined to find a satisfactory solution to this impasse and ensure that the academic calendar is not substantially derailed.

“The best form of negotiation are those in which both parties of the dispute exhibit good faith within the context of what is affordable and equitable. I continue to hope the government will help bring this impasse to an end so that the education of our young people can resume in solemnity. I assure you of government’s commitment to addressing your concerns at all times. I appeal to organized labour to give enthusiastic support and cooperation to government’s programme on economic recovery.”

However, the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has expressed its disappointment in the decision by the University of Ghana branch of the UTAG not to return to class to teach.

In a tweet, NUGS stated that “The resolution of the UG-UTAG not to comply with the Business and Executive Committee’s schedule for teaching and learning is rather unfortunate. Students cannot continue to bear the brunt of this strike action. If the teaching is nowhere in sight, shut down the school.”

UG-UTAG has served notice that its members will not return to the classroom Monday, February 28, 2022 as directed by the National Executive Committee and scheduled by the University’s Business and Executive Committee.

A statement signed by Prof. Ransford Gyampo UG-chapter secretary, on February 27, 2022, reiterated that they[UG-Chapter] are unable to comply with the decision to resume lectures.

The full statement is below.

Outcome of Emergency Meeting of UG-UTAG on 27th February, 2022

Dear Registrar,
An emergency meeting was called to discuss your release communicating the University’s Business and Executive Committee’s decision for teaching and academic work to commence on Monday 28th February 2022, in anticipation of the ratification of the UTAG-National Executive Committee’s decision to suspend the industrial action upon by UTAG since 10th January 2022.

Deal of the day

After extensive deliberations, they directed me to bring to your attention, their inability to comply with the decision of the Business and Executive Committee for the resumption of teaching on Monday 28th February 2022. This was based on the following reasons:

First, the UTAG-National Executive Committee’s decision to suspend the strike has been rejected by majority of members of public universities in Ghana, and it will not be prudent to commence teaching for few days, only to resume the strike again, given the toll this may likely impose on students and parents.

Secondly, given the trust deficit between UTAG and government, members indicated their preference to see the outcome of the talks/engagement (not negotiations) initiated by the government to resolve the impasse (which is expected to end on March 4, 2022), before they return to the classroom.

Kindly be notified accordingly.

Thank you.

Prof Ransford E.V. Gyampo, Secretary UG-UTAG

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