Accra, Feb. 16, GNA. - Mr Dan Antwi, General Secretary of the Teachers' Educational Union (TEWU), on Thursday, urged its members in various Polytechnics to suspend their sit-down strike. He explained that further industrial action "will make us loose public sympathy".
Mr Antwi said the suspension was due to a new mandate from government to the Conference of Polytechnic Principals (COPP) to negotiate with TEWU in respect of salary and conditions of service for 2006-2008.
The first mandate given to COPP was only for salary structure without conditions of service, and this, members of TEWU in the Polytechnics protested through the industrial action last week. Making urgent telephone calls to all union leaders in the polytechnics in the presence of the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, Mr Antwi said "the second mandate was what we were calling for and the granting of it makes further action unnecessary".
A letter from COPP to Mr Antwi said, "the Conference of Polytechnic Principals (COPP) has been given a new mandate by the government to continue the negotiations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement of TEWU for 2006-2008".
The letter signed by Dr. K. Nsiah-Gyabaah, chairman, COPP, said "you (Mr Antwi) are therefore kindly invited to attend a meeting for that purpose on Friday, 24th February 2006, at the Accra Polytechnic at 10.00 am".
It continued, "on the basis of this information and understanding, the COPP would like to appeal to TEWU, once again, to exercise maximum restraint and ensure smooth academic work in the Polytechnics". On the strength of this letter, Mr Antwi urged the leaders to explain the issue at stake to the rank and file so as to understand reasons behind the suspension of the sit-down strike.