General News of Thursday, 4 April 2013
President of the University Teachers Association (UTAG), Anthony Simmons said the group’s meeting with the chief of staff and Vice-Chancellors of the various public universities failed to yield a positive outcome saying they failed to reach consensus on the terms of payment for the salary arrears owed them since 2012.
According to Mr. Simmons, government proposed three installments of payment of their monies but UTAG proposed a one-time payment. “The government side proposed three installments ending in September and we were on our earlier stand; we want one-time payment and so we could not agree to the terms…”
Mr. Simmons said the executives of UTAG will go back and inform its members of government’s proposal and let government know what they say. “We just have to communicate to them, whatever they say we will communicate back.”
Executives of UTAG on Wednesday met with the chief of staff, Prosper Bani, and the Vice-Chancellors to decide when their salary arrears will be paid and also agree on premium factor to be applied to the current basic salary as the appropriate restoration per its earlier communique.
Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) served notice on Thursday, March 28, 2013 of their intention to withdraw their services to give impetus to their demands.
Below is a statement signed by the Minister of Information, Mahama Ayariga on the outcome of the meeting.
PRESS STATEMENT ON UTAG’S STRIKE
Government held a meeting with leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to discuss the decision of the latter to embark on a strike action because of Governments’ inability to make a lump sum payment of their 2012 market premium arrears.
Government has indicated that the arrears of the market premium for 2012 shall be paid in 3 installments as follows:
May 2013 – 4 months arrears
July 2013 – 4 months arrears
September 2013 – 4 months arrears
The Chief of Staff, Mr. Prosper Bani who chaired the meeting, appealed to the university lecturers to call off the strike and resume work given Government’s undertaking to pay the arrears based on arrangements applicable across board for all other public sector workers owed similar arrears.
The leadership of UTAG indicated that they will consult their membership and take a decision which they would communicate to Government.
The Minister for Finance, the Chief Executive of Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Minister for Education, the Minister for Information and Media Relations and some Vice Chancellors of Universities were present.
The Chief of Staff urged university lecturers to call off the strike whilst Government mobilizes the needed resources to pay the first tranch in May 2013.