Members of the striking Technical Universities Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG) ware contemplating suing the government over the National Council for Tertiary Education’s (NTCE) supposed breach of the Technical University Act, 2016 (Act 922).
The Act stipulates that staff of the erstwhile Polytechnics must maintain and retain their positions in the newly created Technical Universities.
The National President of TUTAG, Dr. Solomon Keelson is claiming that the NCTE under the guise of a staff audit it conducted has downgraded most of its members.
“We are universities. You should accord us that university status and give us things that show we are a university. If you do something to suggest that you don't recognize us as universities, then we will not take it lightly. We are not going to court now but if it should happen that we should go to court, why not? Because this is not a court matter as it were,” he stated.
“There are other issues that will probably lead us to court and that is when we are looking at how Act 922 has been violated by NCTE and use Act 974 retrospectively to assert Act 922. We are contemplating on that. If we have to go to court, that is something that we are going to take.”
Meanwhile the Teachers Educational Workers Union of Ghana, TEWU has threatened to go on an indefinite strike in solidarity with members of TUTAG.
Acting General Secretary of TEWU Mark Dankyira Korankye said: “We have stated some conditions and some treatments that we are going through and we think we are not being fairly treated. Our issues should be brought onto the table so that we all discuss the issues of the migration because our members after the discussions will also have to be placed on the salary scheme.”
“They have called other stakeholders and have refused to call TEWU. Our issue is the same placement that they are also fighting for and if we are talking about the same thing, then we might also join them [in the strike].
Calls for an end to the strike in KTU
Students of the Kumasi Technical University (KTU) have also joined the chorus in appealing to TUTAG to end their strike.
According to the students, failure by the government to resolve the concerns of the Association has resulted in these strike actions which is affecting their academic calendar.
Some of the students spoke to Citi News after a peaceful protest on campus:
“It's about three weeks now since we haven't been in class. We came to school to learn. We've paid school fees but we're not being taught. We need our lecturers back. We want to go back to the lecture halls. That's the university statutes. After 21 working days, if no lectures are in place, the school will be closed down. We don't want that. We've paid school fees,” one gentleman said.
“It's really affecting us and we're pleading with the government to attend to TUTAG because since we are not in class, students are roaming about and some are going home,” a lady lamented.
Another continued: “We're neither on TUTAG or government's side. What we are pleading for is that peace will reign so that we'll go back to the lecture halls.”