The Technical University Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG) branch of the Bolgatanga Technical University and the Technical University Senior Administrators Association of Ghana (TUSAAG) have suspended their week-long strike over their conditions of service.
A release issued and signed by the leadership of both associations said separate emergency meetings of the university’s branch of TUTAG and TUSAAG were held on Thursday, August 31, 2023.
The meetings were held to deliberate on the consensus reached at the meeting on August 29, 2023, between TUTAG and TUSAAG on one hand and the university management on the other, with the Governing Council as the mediator.
“It was unanimously agreed at both meetings that the strike be suspended with effect from Friday, September 1, 2023,” it said.
Effective August 25, 2023, members of the TUTAG and TUSAAG branch of the Bolgatanga Technical University withdrew their services.
This was due to attempts by the Vice-Chancellor of the institution to vary portions of their conditions of service as approved by the Ministry of Finance by hiding behind claims of ambiguities in the Technical Universities Act (2016) Act 922.
They said they outrightly rejected the variation being pursued by the VC concerning their conditions of service, saying “Our strike is based on the misinterpretation of portions of our conditions of service about the retirement benefit by the VC to our disadvantage”.
The two associations, after separate meetings today, unanimously agreed to embark upon the industrial action in response to what the VC intends to do.
In a joint release, they said: “We strongly reject the VC’s absurd interpretation of our conditions of service, where he seeks to departmentalise the payment of our retirement benefits for our retirees by paying only three months’ salary for the number of years served under the polytechnic and then one-month salary for every year served effective only after 2031”.
“We insist that any TUTAG or TUSAAG member who served for continuous 10 years under the erstwhile polytechnic system automatically qualifies as an accrued right to enjoy this retirement benefit as pertains in other technical universities,” they noted.
They stated further that their position was supported by section 42 (6) of the Technical Universities Act (2016), Act 922 as amended, which states that “A person in the employment of a polytechnic in existence immediately before the coming into force of this Act, shall be deemed to have been duly employed by the respective Technical University established under this Act on the terms and conditions attached to the post held by that person before the coming into force of this Act”.
They stressed that what the VC was trying to do amounted to a variation in their conditions of service, which they would not accept in any way, shape or form, adding, “We demand the immediate payment of the internal component of the Online Teaching Support Allowance (OTSA) and its accrued arrears for teaching staff that have not been paid since January 2022, unlike other technical universities who had paid theirs up to date”.