Deputy Minister Appeals To UTAG To Call Off Strike

Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, the Deputy Minister of Education, on Friday appealed to the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to call off their strike.

He said the government remained committed to paying all outstanding salary arrears and market premiums of UTAG.

Mr Ablakwa told the GNA in an interview that the government had released over Gh¢25 million for the payment of UTAG salary arrears.

He said on April 15, UTAG, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Labour Commission and Ministry of Education signed a communiqué which spelt out the terms of payment for the salary arrears.

The parties agreed that the salary arrears would be paid in four monthly installments but this did not include book and research allowances.

Mr Ablakwa said the delay in payment was due to the inability of the universities to submit their request on time.

The Deputy Minister said so far the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Mines and Technology had picked up their cheques and that he was hopeful that the rest would do same by the close of the day.

He said not all public universities had submitted their request and added, “For the University of Ghana, only the University of Ghana Business School had submitted their claims.”

The College of Health and Allied Sciences, Noguchi Research Institute, among others are yet to submit their claims. The University of Health and Applied Sciences in Ho is also yet to submit its claims.

On the issue of book and research allowances, Mr Ablakwah said there was a short fall in the salaries of Polytechnic lecturers some years ago and to bridge the gap, their book and research allowances were increased that eventually became higher than those of University lecturers.

He said the issue was being addressed by the Fare Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).