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16.07.2014 General News

POTAG to hold a congress over court arbitration

POTAG to hold a congress over court arbitrationPOTAG
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Accra, July 15, GNA - The Polytechnic Teachers' Association of Ghana (POTAG) says it would hold a congress to decide whether to abide by the court's decision for arbitration to end its industrial action.

Mr Jones Ntiamaoh, Vice Chairman of POTAG, Accra Polytechnic Chapter, told the GNA in an interview that the congress was going to meet to decide the next line of action.

'Until congress meets we can't decide whether we are going for the arbitration or not because going into an arbitration and not arriving at any date is not going to help as well as solve our grievances', he said.

Mr Ntiamoh, however noted that even though POTAG was happy with the court's ruling that was not what they wanted.

'We were joyous upon hearing the news but later on we realised that what we didn't want had been handed to us', he stated.

He therefore called on the government to have better negotiations with POTAG in addressing members' grievances.

'We are willing to sit with government to have committed negotiations, if government is willing to pay us even half or add it to our salaries we will take it, but for government to scrap our allowances with or without negotiations would never be accepted,' Mr Ntiamoah added.

Mr Daniel Osei, the Student Representative Council (SRC) President of Accra Polytechnic, appealed to lecturers to have compassion on students and return to lectures because academically students had been affected greatly.

He said efforts had been made to get the lecturers back to the lecture halls but no positive results had been achieved.

'The SRC, NUGS, GNUPS and all the other seven polytechnic institutions in the country have presented their grievances to the Minister of Education but as at now nothing concrete has been achieved to promote and revive teaching and learning in polytechnic's in the country', he said.

Mr Osei therefore called on government to address the lecturers' grievances as no negotiations had taken place between government and the lecturers.

During the visit by the GNA to Accra Poly, it was noticed that students were on campus doing their private and group studies while others were idling.

Dr Bernice A Welbeck, Acting Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC) told the GNA the Commission would consult its lawyer for the next line of action.

An Accra Human Rights Court on Monday ruled that the two months strike action of the POTAG is legal.  

POTAG has been on an indefinite strike since May 15, 2014 over outstanding arrears in its book and research allowances.

The NLC went to court to enforce its directive for polytechnic teachers to call off the strike, as well as enforce its ruling in the disparity between Government and POTAG over the scrapping of the research and book allowances.

The NLC had ruled that POTAG returned to work while arbitration procedures were initiated to address the concern, but POTAG disregarded the ruling, leading to a court action.

Government announced its intention to scrap the payment of book and research allowance to tertiary institution lecturers last year.

Instead, it announced the setting up of a National Research Fund to support the conduct of research by lecturers.


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