Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) say they will withdraw their services effective today January 10, 2022 until further notice.
That, it said, was as a result of the failure of the government to address the plight of members as a result of worsening conditions of service (CoS).
“National Executive Committee (NEC) of UTAG at its meeting held on January 7, 2022 reiterated its resolve to follow through with the decision to withdraw teaching and related activities until further notice with effect from Monday, January 10, 2022 and call on all UTAG members across the 15 branches to observe this directive,” a communique issued by UTAG, said.
The communique was jointly signed by the President of UTAG, Prof Solomon Nunoo and the Secretary of UTAG, Dr Asare Asante-Annor as well as the president of the various branches of the association.
As a matter of urgency, the association called on the employer to restore members to the 2013 interim market premium (IMP) of 114 per cent of basic salary in the interim while government, “goes ahead to formulate guidelines to implement the appropriate recommendations to address the CoS of the university teacher.
“Following the uneasiness among UTAG members, any delay by the employer would further exacerbate the already fragile academic calendar to the detriment of all stakeholders,” it said.
At its emergency meetings held on January 4 and 7, 2022, the communique said NEC of UTAG discussed the worsening condition of the university teacher and the failure of the employer in addressing the plight of UTAG members within the agreed timelines.
“It may be recalled that the Interim Market Premium (IMP), which was instituted following the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy, got frozen, per a Government White Paper, in 2013, for the purpose of the conduct of a Labour Market Survey (LMS) to determine a MP payable to workers deserving of it. To date, this determination has not been made, which has resulted in the erosion of the university teacher’s salary.
“There was the hope that by completing and implementing the LMS Report of 2019, a review of the IMP would have put the university teacher on a relatively good salary stead. Regrettably, the recommendations of the 2019 LMS Report without any accompanying technical report on the implementable MP is meaningless to UTAG as it does not address the pertinent issues of improved CoS,” it said.
Interestingly, however, the communique said there was a LMS in 2014 whose report did not see the light of day and it wondered if the 2019 LMS report would ever be implemented since it was already two years old.
“In addition, recommendation (iii) from the 2019 LMS report states that “Public Services Commission should liaise with educational institutions to prioritise the offering of courses in areas of demand to increase the employment prospects of their graduates and increase the pool of applicants for high vacancies.”
The association wondered how could such a national agenda be attained if the CoS of the university teacher kept worsening year on year leading to an ever-increasing attrition rate on the various campuses?
The communique said UTAG members saw the timing of the release of the report as one of the usual delay tactics that the employer had employed over the years, which was unacceptable.
“We must also point out the fact that generally our members have decried the pittance agreed to be paid as annual research allowance and would want to have government to reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development,” it said.