Kpemka: UTAG’s demands are legitimate

The former deputy attorney general says the demand of UTAG is legitimate, adding that the government should come out with timelines in addressing them

Joseph Kpemka, the former deputy attorney general has called for speedy resolution of the impasse between the government and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).

UTAG on Monday began a nationwide strike over what it describes as the worsening conditions of service of the university teacher and the failure of the employer in addressing the plight of its members.

Speaking on Asaase Radio’s news analysis and current affairs programme, The Forum, on 15 January, Kpemka said the demand of UTAG is legitimate, adding that government should come out with timelines in meeting their demands if it has the resources.

“What I’m saying is that we should have sober heads. UTAG deserves what they’re asking for but if government can provide their demands now, there should be timelines,” he said.

Kpemka added: “I think all parties should be sober in dealing with this matter so that passions are not inflamed… we shouldn’t do it in a manner that people will read political meanings into it.”

Successive governments have failed to resolve UTAG issues

Kofi Asare, the executive director of Africa Education Watch, in an earlier interview says governments over the past years have not shown any commitment to resolving the grievances of UTAG.

Speaking to Beatrice Adu on the Big Bulletin on Wednesday (12 January), Asare said successive governments since 2008 have shown no urgency in addressing the demands of UTAG.

According to him, “there’s no urgency on the part of the government to resolve this matter. I am talking about the government in a generic sense. Since 2008, then 2012 when single spine finally took off, this matter (UTAG demands) has been hanging since 2008 before the roadmap was agreed upon.

“…Every timeline that has been developed, the government of Ghana has not treated with attention or an effort that suggest that it is committed to ensuring that lecturers were not worse off. Even the agreement as part of the roadmap indicated that lecturers will be on a 1500 equivalent US dollars entry-level has not been carried out. So, I don’t see any real commitment by successive governments to solve this matter,” he stated.

UTAG has for some time now been demanding the implementation of a 2012 Single Spine package which put entry-level lecturers on a salary equivalent of US$2,084 while the current level puts lecturers’ salaries around US$900.

Fred Dzakpata

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