UTAG strike continues until gov’t pays ¢10 million arrears in full

General News of Thursday, 4 April 2013

Source: Joy Online

LegonUniversity 122

University teachers across the country say they will remain out of the lecture halls until government pays in full arrears owed them.

President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) Anthony Simmons confirmed this to Joy News’ Evans Mensah.

They announced a strike action on Tuesday in protest over delays in paying their 2012 market premiums.

Government held a meeting with the leadership of UTAG on Wednesday to find an amicable solution but that meeting failed to reach a consensus.

A statement issued by government after the meeting admitted owing the teachers 2012 market premiums but promised to pay the arrears in three installments beginning from next month.

But the teachers are adamant. Anthony Simmons insists they want a one-time payment of the one year arrears which is inching close to some 10 million cedis.

He said the leadership of UTAG would have to go back to its constituents to inform them about government’s intention to pay the arrears in installment but he was quick to add that the mandate given them prior to the meeting was to have the monies paid in full.

According to him, they have waited for over a year for this money to be paid but government has reneged on its responsibility.

He was surprised that after UTAG won a court case against the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission for the market premium to be paid them, Fair Wages went into negotiations with other unions over the payment of the same premium.

He said the monies owed them have depreciated and have to be paid in full and not in installments.

He said arrears for each lecturer is between ¢3,000-¢4,000 with the total amount of arrears inching close to ¢10 million cedis.

When he was reminded that the full cost of arrears may be too much to pay in bulk, Simmons retorted “10 million cedis is too small for a country like Ghana.”

He said the mandate given to the leaders of UTAG by the teachers was that “until we have the money in full we dare not call off the strike.”