Prof Jane Nana Opoku Agyemang
The Takoradi Polytechnic (T-Poly) chapter of the Polytechnic Teachers’ Association of Ghana (POTAG) has issued an ultimatum to government to initiate the process of payment of the Book and Research Allowance before June 20, this year.
That, it said, would help avert developments that might lead to distortions in the academic calendar of the polytechnic and adversely affect the students.
According to the association, it had observed, with keen interest, the systematic and deliberate attempt by the government through its agencies to abolish the Book and Research Allowance.
‘Since the beginning of the academic year, POTAG national has written several letters to the Ministry of Education and National Council for Tertiary Education to initiate a process of payment of the allowance but the agencies have failed to respond,’ the association alleged.
T-Poly chapter of POTAG indicated that government’s attempt to replace the Book and Research Allowance with a National Research Fund (NRF) was misplaced and a clear indication that government wanted to demotivate the polytechnic teachers.
The association gave the ultimatum in a release it issued yesterday at the Takoradi Polytechnic office of POTAG.
Signed by the President, Michael Appiah, the Vice, Peter Awini Seidu and Secretary, Asiedu Kokuro, the release explained that the Book and Research Allowance was part of the polytechnic lecturers’ conditions of service and that POTAG negotiated with government to secure its implementation.
‘We believe that the manoeuvrings by the government to abolish the Book and Research Allowance is an affront to the sensibilities of POTAG members,’ the released stated.
It noted that POTAG members were unhappy with the approach employed by some government agencies on various platforms to announce the intention of government to abolish the allowance without recourse to proper consultation with POTAG members.
‘We believe that this is not good industrial relation practice by the agencies of government and clear affront to the labour Act 651 of 2003,’ it added.
The T-Poly POTAG members explained that the allowance was a guaranteed assistance for lecturers to buy books, subscribe to academic journals, attend conferences and publish articles.
The POTAG members then called on the Ministry of Education and the National Council for Tertiary Education to, as a matter of urgency, expedite action on the payment of the Book and Research Allowance so in order not to disrupt the academic calendar.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi
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