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NLC directs POTAG to call off strike

10 September 2010 | General News

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the Polytechnic Teachers Association off Ghana (POTAG) to call of its strike immediately and return to normal duties.

It said the parties in the dispute, POTAG, the Conference of Rectors of Polytechnic (CORP) and the Fair Wages and "Salaries Commission should appear before the commission on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12 p.m.

A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the NLC, Mr Edward Briku-Boadu, said the decision was the outcome of a meeting with representatives of POTAG, CORP and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission held on Wednesday, September 8, 2010.

The statement was copied to the Minister of Education, the Executive Secretary of the National Council on Tertiary Education, the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Chairmen of Councils of Polytechnics and the Chairman of CORP.

POTAG begun a sit down strike on September 1 as a result of what it said was the refusal of the government through the NCTE, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and other stakeholders to call the association to the negotiations table to negotiate its conditions of service that expired in 2008.

A statement issued in Koforidua and jointly signed by Mr Anthony Agyakwah, Secretary, and Mr G.K. Abledu, President of POTAG, expressed regret that since January numerous efforts made for government to call POTAG to the negotiations table with FWSC had proved futile.

The statement recalled that on March 8, an emergency meeting was held at the Kumasi Polytechnic where a communique was issued asking government to call the association for negotiations.

"On March 17, we wrote to FWSC to negotiate with us. They invited us and on April 1 at the meeting, we were told that they did not have any mandate to negotiate and only appealed to us to be patient with them".

The statement said on June 6, a press conference was held at Koforidua Polytechnic to draw government's attention to negotiate with them.

It said on the following day, POTAG wrote to the NCTE asking them to negotiate with the association on their conditions of service but no response was received.

"On June 30, we wrote to the NCTE again giving them up to August 13 to respond to our request. The NCTE wrote to FWSC directing them to negotiate with us.

"In that letter, we were informed that the FWSC had the mandate to negotiate with us," it said.

It said on August 25, POTAG wrote another letter to the NCTE indicating the FWSC's failure to call members for negotiation despite letters from the Minister of Education and NCTE requesting negotiations to commence.

"On that day we made a press release giving government an ultimatum to call us for negotiations by September 1 but this was also not reacted to".

The statement said based on those issues, POTAG at an emergency meeting held at Koforidua Polytechnic resolved to embark on the strike until further notice.

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