University teachers likely to call off strike next week – UTAG lawyer hints
Labour lawyer, Charles Bawa Duah is confident the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) will soon reach an agreement with government to call off its strike.
The lecturers have been on strike since July 24 over the protracted impasse between the Association and government over their research and book allowance.
Government says it is replacing the allowance with a National Research Fund, which the lecturers strongly disagreed.
The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), this week, called off its three-month-old strike after the government bent backward to pay their book and research allowance for the 2013/14 academic year.
On Thursday, the government met leadership of the UTAG to chart a road map towards finding a lasting solution to the impasse between them.
Currently, the book allowance stands at $1,500 for each lecturer per year while the research component stands at GH¢400.
“There is no agreement but as at the last meeting [between the government and UTAG], I can say that there has been some progress made,” Mr Bawa Duah who is the lawyer for UTAG asserted on Joy FM’s news analysis programme, Newsfile.
Though he would not give concrete assurance about the Association going back to the classroom due to the still sketchy nature of the situation, he pointed out: “What has happened is that it would appear that the government has moved a little bit towards UTAG, and UTAG has also moved a little bit.”
He is therefore counting on a scheduled meeting on Tuesday to breathe out “some conclusion”.
Meanwhile, he said the Association is holding on, temporarily, its decision of exercising the right to go to court over the impasse.
“Let me say that members of UTAG are very eager to go back to the classroom and if their conditions of service are not unlawfully infringed upo; if their requirements are met, the demands are met, the grievances are settled; certainly they will go back to the lecture theatre.”
UTAG is demanding that the 2013/14 as well as the 2014/15 book and research allowance are paid, he stressed, adding that removing it is a contravention of teachers’ condition of service.
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