POTAG adamant over wage freeze: dares minister to do her worse
“Bow down your head in shame.” That is the criticism of angry Polytechnic teachers targeted at the Education Minister Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman who has ordered a freeze of the salaries of the striking Polytechnic lecturers.
Ashanti Region President of POTAG Edmund Peprah told Joy News the decision taken by the minister was “callous, lawless and amounted to segregation.”
The striking lecturers would earn no salary for the month of August as punishment for staying at home.
The Minister was reported to have directed the Controller and Accountant General not to pay the lecturers for refusing to work.
That decision has angered the lecturers all the more.
Edmund Peprah said they are saddened by the decision of the minister and if she thought that would force them back to the classroom then she must think again.
“That will not soften our stance,” he stated, adding if anything, the decision has triggered “the opposite effect.”
“It is like pouring petrol on fire,” Peprah said, taunting and daring the minister to do her worse adding, the minister cannot beat them to their own game.
He said the action by the minister was hypocritical because as a lecturer and member of UTAG she was one of lecturers who went on strike for over a year and yet received her salary for every single month.
Why would she take such a decision? he asked
POTAG is protesting the failure by government to pay their book and research allowance. They have been staying at home for the last three months.
Edmund Peprah said if the minister enforces he decision to freeze their salaries, what she would succeed in doing is to wipe the academic slate clean. If and when they return to the classroom they will begin from the scratch; they will not organise any exams or mark any pending exam papers. They will begin everything all over again, he warned.
He said they have resolved to go the full hog to have this issue addressed.
The Central Region President of POTAG shares similar sentiments as his Ashanti Region counterpart.
Isaac Aggrey said the decision to freeze the salaries of POTAG members was contemptuous but POTAG remains unperturbed.
Meanwhile the Minister of Education, her deputy Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and the Employment Minister Haruna Iddrisu were holed up in a crunch meeting to strategise ahead of a meeting with POTAG.
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