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UTAG-UG stands in solidarity as GAUA declares nationwide strike

By Dickens Ofori Asare Adjei II Contributor
Education UTAG-UG stands in solidarity as GAUA declares nationwide strike
FRI, 26 JAN 2024 LISTEN

The University Teachers Association of Ghana, University of Ghana Branch (UTAG-UG) has released a press statement expressing solidarity with Sister Unions, particularly the Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA), who have declared a nationwide strike.

This move comes as a response to the challenging economic conditions and what they describe as "inhumane treatment" from the government and various university managements.

GAUA's decision to strike was outlined in a statement issued on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, citing reasons such as the arbitrary implementation of office holding allowances without proper regulatory frameworks, non-payment of Tier 2 contributions, and disparities in the single-spine salary structure.

Other grievances include the non-review of allowances agreed upon by the National Labour Commission and the Ghana Tertiary Education Council (GTEC), as well as the failure of GTEC and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to specify promotion criteria for university administrators.

UTAG-UG in its statement issued on January 25, 2024, expressed understanding and empathy toward the concerns raised by GAUA, emphasizing the importance of fair treatment and adherence to agreements. The press release highlighted the irresponsible behavior of those entrusted with overseeing labor welfare, who unilaterally alter Conditions of Service (CoS) to the disadvantage of workers without prior discourse.

While UTAG-UG contemplates its own course of action regarding CoS due to the government's perceived lackadaisical approach to negotiations, they encourages sister unions to persist in pressing their demands. The association stressed that reward, satisfaction, and productivity go hand-in-hand and indicated their willingness to join in positive defiance against any attempt to suppress labour's legitimate action.

UTAG-UG criticized the government's use of coercive powers to intimidate and quell labor agitations without addressing underlying concerns. UTAG-UG urged the government to promptly address labor demands to avoid the possibility of a joint industrial action that could impact public universities in Ghana.

The situation escalates as GAUA's strike joins other recent ones initiated by the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) and the Teachers of Educational Workers Union (TEWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). These collective actions highlight a growing discontent among university staff regarding working conditions and the government's responsiveness to their concerns.

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