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11.10.2004 General News

Poly Lecturers Begin Strike For Salary Arrears

By JoyOnline

Accra, Oct 11, JoyOnline -- Polytechnic lecturers in the country have laid down their tools to back their demands for the payment of their salary arrears.

The lecturers say they would only return to the lecture theatre after the government pay the arrears dating back to the first of January this year.

The decision to embark on the strike action was taken at the National Congress of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) held on Saturday.

The lecturers have been negotiating with the conference of Polytechnic Principals (COPP) on the issue for a while now.

They had throughout the negotiations threatened to go on strike if their demands were not met despite appeals from the COPP.

They gave an October 7 deadline.

The Government says it cannot pay the arrears from the first of January.

The Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education told JoyNews that the Finance ministry say they can pay from 1st March even though July would have been suitable.

"I have seen a paper that says we should pay from January 1. That is impossible according to Finance ministry authorities. What is humanly possible is March 1. Even with that we have to look for the money to pay. July 1 is the best period according to the Finance ministry. They say they have the money to pay from July 1", she said.

The lectures strike follows the heels of a recent strike action by the students to demand a clarification on their job placement status.

That strike has thrown the academic calendar overboard.

The teachers strike would further jeopardise the calendar.

Ho Polytechnic Local POTAG Chairman, Theodore Dzokoto told JoyNews that the semester's examination would greatly be affected.

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