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19.08.2013 Education

Maintain book, research allowance - POTAG

By Daily Graphic
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The Polytechnic Teachers' Association of Ghana (POTAG) has stated that it will resist any attempt by the government to abolish the current book and research allowance enjoyed by university lecturers.

A press statement signed by the General Secretary of POTAG, Mr Oswald Atiga, at the end of the association's 20th National Delegates Congress held in Kumasi, said the book and research allowance was negotiated for by POTAG and so formed part of its conditions of service.

It said it was POTAG's  view that the allowance needed an upward adjustment considering the current economic state of the country.

"POTAG will apply all means necessary to maintain and keep what it has so bargained and negotiated for, " the statement said.

It said given POTAG's conditions of service, promotion of senior members or lecturers was based on research and publication.

For higher academic institutions of learning to be vibrant and play their critical role of contributing to teaching, research and enhancement of knowledge and skills, it said, lecturers must be able to acquire current literature and practical materials related to their fields of endeavour in order to compete appropriately in this advanced technological world.

Quoting from the Labour Act, POTAG said  "employers are to promote conducive working environment together with the appropriate and relevant tools that make working productive and enhance performance. Therefore the employer cannot take away or suspend the tool and yet expect high levels of performance and productivity from its employees."

The statement vehemently denied information circulating in the media to the effect that POTAG had agreed to the implementation of the policy.

"POTAG wishes to state clearly that nowhere have we discussed this matter with the government or with any other stakeholder".

It went on to state that no centralised programme/scheme of any kind had worked properly in the country before and so it would not accept any attempt to centralise this allowance.

"The question we want to pose is, how easily accessible is this allowance in its current state that the ministry now thinks centralisation is the answer?" the statement said.

It said POTAG would jealously and vehemently guard whatever was negotiated for and duly captured in its conditions of service.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, was recently reported to have announced that the government would abolish the current book and research allowances being enjoyed by university lecturers.

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