Gov’t Has Made Our Payment Look Like Pulling Hair From The Nostrils – UTAG Prez

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

Last Tuesday, the teachers went on strike to protest delays in the payment of their 2012 market premium. Though government held meeting with the leadership of UTAG on Wednesday to cordially solve the issue at stake, the meeting failed to reach a reasonable 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 next month.

President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) Anthony Simmons confirmed this to Okay FM when he reiterated the unions’ intent to continue with the industrial action until it yields positive results.

He explained that it beats human understanding to find out that government can easily fork out huge sums of monies to a particular group of persons and express pain when it is their obligation to pay the teachers smaller amount.

He described governments approach to the matter as one that was far from the pain that accompanied pulling a string of hair from the nostrils. He noted that the government had the resources to pay teachers their demands and it came nowhere close to what Members of Parliament have already taken.

Mr. Simmons also took time off to respond to claims by the Public Relations Officer for the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Mr. Earl Ankrah, to the effect that members of the association would only get their accrued arrears paid to them by government in installments and not all at once.

According to Mr. Simmons, Mr. Earl Ankrah had the right to express his opinion but must know that it is better for “the government to pay the MPs who took the big chunk of monies in installments and pay teachers in bulk because theirs is smaller.