Pay or no pay, we’re powerless – POTAG sizes salary freeze

The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana says it has nothing to say if government decides to freeze salaries of striking POTAG members.

The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana began an indefinite nationwide strike in May this year to protest government’s unwillingness to pay their book and research allowance for the 2013/2014 academic year.

Joy News checks have revealed that government is considering petitions from concerned citizens who want government to stop paying the salaries of the Polytechnic teachers who have been on strike.

But the President of POTAG, James Dugrah, has indicated that government can do as it pleases.

He however found it shocking that the government would take such a decision when what the teachers do go beyond teaching and conducting examinations.

In total, each polytechnic teacher renders 21 services including supervising the dissertation of students, he claimed, and cautioned against classifying some more important than others.

“If they decide not to pay us for rendering the 19 services, that one, we don’t have anything to say, we are powerless… if the government decides not to pay [us] it is ok,” he told Joy News.

Listen to POTAG President
An Accra High Court last month dismissed a case brought before it by the Labour Commission challenging the legality of the strike declared by the Polytechnic teachers.

The court insists the strike by the lecturers was legal and ordered a compulsory arbitration to resolve the impasse.

Meanwhile, Labour consultant, Austin Gamey says POTAG lost their right to resist any freeze on their salary after the court ruling.

“From the date they went on the strike and until the judgment, they can be paid but; from the date that the judgment was handed down they have to go back to work.” Listen to Austin Gamey

He therefore urged striking POTAG members to obey the court’s directive and resume work.

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