UTAG strike: Akufo-Addo must intervene, says Gyampo

Professor Ransford Gyampo says UTAG cannot trust any government official to resolve the impasse and wants the president to intervene

Story Highlights
  • According to Prof Gyampo, UTAG do not trust any government official to handle the situation and therefore the President must intervene.
  • The Labour Court urged the disputing parties to settle the case out of court and report to the court on the progress of engagements.
  • UTAG declined an invitation to meet with the National Labour Commission(NLC) on Monday 7 February. Stating that they rather prefer meeting with the government.

Professor Ransford Gyampo, the general secretary of the University of Ghana chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is calling on President Nana Akufo-Addo to personally intervene to resolve their salary issues.

According to Gyampo, UTAG does not trust any of the government officials to handle the situation and therefore, a call on the president to intervene.

“By our own conduct and by our own conditions of service, we’ve not been able to speak forcefully about the fact that we don’t have many resources because if you look at how appointees behave and the resources that go to Article 71 officeholders and others, people look at all these things and make comparisons.

“It has gotten to that point where labour cannot trust any office appointees that are involved in this (negotiations),” he stated.

Better legacy

Speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin on Monday (14 February), Gyampo indicated that Akufo-Addo in his final term of office, must chase after better legacies that will outlive him and the complete resolution of the teacher’s demands presents a great opportunity.

“Why won’t the President come, speak to labour and then, as he is looking for legacy, tell labour that ‘look, labour I understand what you’re talking about, at the moment our budget is even yet-to-be passed, we don’t even know the state of the E-Levy whether they’re passing or they’re not passing. Allow us to go through the budget processes and raise some money and give us one month, two months, we’ll be able to find something in response to your demands and give us to the following year, leaving the scene, I’ll make sure that will restore the inequities in your salary structures before I leave.’

“…And that will be one of the legacies that the President can be referred to as having achieved, restoring the inequities in the salary systems in a manner that ensure there’s industrial harmony.

No industrial harmony, no peace

“Let me tell you, we are fighting hard the quagmires of poverty and underdevelopment and labour play a key role in this fight. Until there’s industrial harmony, there can be no peace. And if there’s no peace, our effort to fight, to extricate ourselves from the quagmires of poverty and underdevelopment will come to naught,” he added.

UTAG declines NLC invitation 

Last week, UTAG declined an invitation to meet with the National Labour Commission(NLC) on Monday 7 February.

A letter addressed to the NLC on behalf of UTAG and cited by Asaase radio says the acceptable approach in the current circumstances is for UTAG to meet the government to iron out their differences.

“Our client, the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) are in receipt of your letter dated 3 February 2022, captioned as above and referred to same to us to respond on it.

“As much as we are grateful for the invitation to your proposed tripartite meeting, we honestly believe the more acceptable approach in the present circumstances is for our client to meet with the government side of the impasse to try to iron out their remaining differences. We will then report back to the National Labour Commission (NLC) on the meeting outcome.”

“For this reason, our client respectfully declines to honour your invitation to the meeting on Monday 7, February 2022,” the letter said.

Nicholas Brown

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
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Nicholas Brown

I am a multi-media journo with Asaase Radio. I tell stories that shape the difficulties of life. Let's talk about anything acting, stage direction and making an impact.

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