The National Executive Officers of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) wish to call on the National Labour Commission (NLC), Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Vice Chancellors Ghana (VCG), the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to consider the effect of the on-going strike action in Academic situations on the various University campuses.
We believe that education is our right but not a privilege and for that matter we find it very distressing with the pace at which stakeholders involved are dealing with this serious issue. Although issues relating to UTAG’s migration unto the Single Spine Salary Structure have not been handled properly, we are equally disturbed because students are the worse affected presently. In effect the strike action has frustrated the academic calendar of the various universities and will go a long way to affect the university students most especially the final year students when they resume. This is because, even after resumption lecturers will have no other option than to rush the students through the syllabus / course outline in order to stick to the academic calendar, thereby increasing the work load on students. This we think is very disturbing.
NUGS wishes to state clearly that ”the leadership in great displeasure with the lackadaisical and feet-dragging attitude and technique being employed by the stake holders involved, especially government in dealing decisively with the problem at stake” . We find it very distressing for the stakeholders involved to drag this pertinent issue to this far when it could have been resolved within a day or two.
We further call on UTAG to be flexible with their demands, so that students do not suffer unfairly. We call on government to treat this issue with all the tact and seriousness it can master. We entreat on the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) since they have admitted committing themselves in a clause stated in the agreement signed between UTAG and FWSC on 15th December, 2011 to respect their agreement and stick to it in order to help resolve the issue permanently. Finally we call on Vice Chancellors Ghana to intervene and explore ways of solving this problem at their level.
The leadership of NUGS is being faced with a great challenge at this moment and would want to appreciate the efforts of the SRC executives of our various university campuses and the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) for the hard work they are doing on their various campuses in engaging their local UTAG branches to calm tempers down.
We wish to state as a matter of fact, that we have met both UTAG and FWSC amongst other stakeholders involved and it is obvious that the unrepentant posture of both sides is not ending anytime soon until government intervenes positively.
On this note we wish to caution Government that ”if nothing is done by Wednesday, 10th April, 2013, the leadership of NUGS will have no other option than to permit the anger of the student body on the streets against government in a demonstration” which we are very sure of happening. As a result, we want to indicate our readiness to demonstrate on Friday 12thApril, 2013 to exhibit our frustrations about the way this issue is being addressed, if an amicable solution is not found by then.
EUGENE ACKOM-DAMTEY ANDREWS KOFI GYAN
(NUGS Education & Democratization Secretary) (NUGS President)