The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has appealed to the government to demonstrate good faith in negotiations with the striking public university lecturers.
General Secretary of the TUC, Dr Yaw Baah, the impasse can be resolved if the government backs down on its strong stance at the negotiating table with the members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana.
“One of the grievances was that the government was not showing good faith in the negotiations. I believe strongly that if the government shows good faith UTAG will come around and then the students will write their exam.
“Teachers want to teach, they don’t want to be on the sea, they don’t want to be at home. They, themselves are not happy that they are staying at home; I don’t think UTAG members are happy so we expect that negotiations will continue,” he told the media.
UTAG members have been on strike since Monday, August 2, 2021, claiming the government has refused to heed to calls their calls for an improvement of the worsening conditions of service of lecturers.
So far, the strike has forced the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), two top public universities, to cancel final exams and other academic activities, a situation that threatens to throw the education calendar into disarray.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Mid-Year Budget Review forum in Accra, the TUC General Secretary also urged the National Labour Commission (NLC) to strive better at efforts to address the impasse between government and TUC.
“I think the NLC is the right institution to deal with this dispute and I am confident that at the end of the day government and UTAG will find a solution because as they say, ‘if two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers’. Our children are in school and they cannot write their exams. I don’t think that is what UTAG want. UTAG just want government to listen to them,” he said.
Dr Baah has called on the tripartite committee to consider reforming the Single Spine Salary structure to ensure that workers were not worse off.
“We should make sure that the single spine is designed to ensure that real wages actually increase but not decline and I think we have people and expertise in this country to be able to do it to ensure that even negotiations can be tied to it, we work out the real wages and see,” he said.
Although an injunction has been secured against the ongoing strike, UTAG says it will not back down.