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19.08.2021 Social News

Suspension of strike conditional — UTAG

Suspension of strike conditional — UTAG
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The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) says it is not time yet for jubilation about their strike action being called off.

According to them, there are some conditions which would need to be reached before their strike would be suspended completely.

President of the University of Ghana branch of the Association Samuel Nkuban who made this revelation noted that suspension of the strike is premised on actions taken by the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry and their Association.

“We have done a road map to give us a one month period within which we must have agreed with government on what it is we want or that we agree on what it is that is acceptable by general membership that we can work with.
“Aside that, also premised on is the fact that all the legal processes are discontinued against UTAG because we can’t be in court”, he stated on Joy News channel’s PM express.

Members of UTAG has been in a stand-off with the Government in the past three weeks over what they say is a breach of agreement by government.

Several calls on them to rescind their sit down strike decision and go back to the classroom fell on deaf ears as they felt that was the only language understood by government.

The National Labor Commission joined the fray in asking the striking teachers to go back to the classroom but that even muddied the waters as the UTAG accused the Commission of taking sides and not having their plights at heart.

When persistent purstation from the NLC failed, they sought assistance from the court, securing an injunction against the Association. The Commission had argued that the law forbids UTAG from proceeding with the industrial action when negotiations are underway.

The Labour Court of the High Court slapped UTAG with a fine of GH¢3,000 for wasting its time due to its inability to complete processes when the Court convened to hear the injunction case brought before the Association by the NLC on the strike action advising both parties to find ways of settling the case out of court.

Continuing, both parties signed a memorandum of understanding where UTAG agreed to take steps to suspend the ongoing strike action whilst the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in conjunction with the National Labour Commission (NLC) take steps to discontinue all legal processes against the association.

However Mr. Nkuban said the Association cannot state whether its strike action has been called off or not since such a decision is dependent on the actions yet to be taken by the government.

“So the condition of UTAG also taking steps to suspend the action is premised on these things and we are looking forward to the next day or two to see how those pan out. We haven’t suspended action as we speak. Suspension of the action is premised on the steps both parties are taking.
"…we [UTAG] also have at least Friday, to engage with our general membership on the basis of good will as well as commitment by government that within one month, we will be at a point where everyone agrees this is where we want to be and then the processes of say, we are resuming strike will not have to happen”, he noted.

James Appiakorang
James Appiakorang

News ContributorPage: JamesAppiakorang

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