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UTAG slapped with GHC3000 fine for breach of court rules

UTAG has since 2 August been on strike and efforts made by the National Labour Commission to have them call off their strike have proven futile

The Labour Court in Accra presided over by Justice Frank Rockson Aboadwe has awarded cost of GHC3,000 against the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).

This was after lawyers of UTAG failed to comply with Section 20(14) of the rules that govern their application before the court.

The UTAG has since 2 August been on strike and efforts made by the National Labour Commission (NLC) to have them call off their strike have proven futile including a court interlocutory injunction.

In court on Monday 16 August, lawyer for UTAG Keli Delataa, while on his feet to move the application for the court to set aside its earlier order as per an ex parte application, counsel for the National Labour Commission (NLC) objected to the move.

It was the case of NLC that, the exhibit counsel for UTAG was relying on to move his application has not been certified per order 20 (14).

According to the NLC, that section is instructive in nature and therefore the application was not properly before the court.

He prayed the court not to allow UTAG, the applicant, to move the application.

Counsel for UTAG, in his response to the objection said every documents they have attached to their processes have been stamped by the registrar of oath.

Justice Aboadwe said it was minded not to struck out the case but to give UTAG an opportunity to come properly before the court. The court said the provision in the said section was mandatory and ought to be complied with.

Justice Aboadwe subsequently awarded a cost of GHC3,000 in favour of the NLC.

The case has been adjourned to August 19 for UTAG to come back and move their application.

Meanwhile, an application for contempt against the leadership of UTAG has been served on them and that case is expected tomorrow.

The Commission on Friday 6 August secured an interlocutory injunction from the court  to compel UTAG to call off their strike.

UTAG has, however, refused to comply with order, indicating that the premise is false.

While the NLC said that UTAG cannot remain on strike while negotiations with government is ongoing, UTAG insists that there is currently no active negotiation between them and the government.

UTAG subsequently filed a motion to set aside the injunction.

The 2012 Single Spine package put entry-level lecturers on a salary of $2,084 while the current level puts lecturers’ salaries around $900.

The strike by UTAG has severely affected academic and some non-academic work at the various tertiary campuses.

Wilberforce Asare

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