Jean-Marie Formadi (3rd left) addressing the press conference flanked by some members of IPD
THE INSTITUTE of Progressive Democrats (IPD), a think-tank organisation in Tema has urged government to be bold enough to accept Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG’s) unilateral abrogation of their contract and declare all positions vacant.
According to IPD, if POTAG members believe that the conditions of service are not favourable, they should also on their part honourably leave the field for fresh applications from any eligible Ghanaian.
It would be recalled that members of POTAG declared a strike action over government’s inability to pay them the 2012/2014 book and research allowance.
The allowance is an amount of monies paid monthly to lectures by virtue of being a member of POTAG irrespective of whether the member engages in any research or not.
Jean-Marie Formadi, assistant communication director of the Institute of Progressive Democrats, speaking at a news conference in Tema last Monday explained that ‘since the book and research allowance is an incentive package to motivate employees and sharpen their ability, although it does not go into the root of the contract, the withdrawal of such incentive cannot be the basis for any unilateral suspension of the contract between the two parties.
The basic consideration for any employment contract is the salary to be paid and the promise to work for such salary. And any action that leads to the temporal withdrawal of services amount to an abrogation of such a contract.’
According to her, the strike action taken by POTAG was an excuse to idle around and get paid at the end of the month with tax payer’s monies.
‘It is pitiful and pathetic that POTAG is not on strike because of delay or non-payment of salaries which is the basis of their contract with government,’ she opined.
The Assistant Director further urged Ghanaians not to sympathise with POTAG members and warned government that other public sector workers were closely monitoring its handling of the ‘ POTAG debacle’ and were sizing up their won confrontation.
She commended government for taking steps to transform the book and research allowance into more a efficient and performance-based research fund unlike the current system of universal pay structure of the said allowance where employees get paid monthly whether they embark on any research or not.
Jean-Marie was optimistic that new research fund would be of benefit to students and available to anyone who engages in ‘true research’ and give added impetus to those who have research papers lying on their desks because of the lack of fund for the project.
She believed that ‘the research fund is more performance-based and will weed out the lazy ones who always and only falls on their old lecturer notes and teaching methods.’
The IPD Communication Director urged the leadership of POTAG and others who would be interested in the fund to rather partner government, industry and other international organisations to enrich sources of funding the new research fund rather than being motivated by greed.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema
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