POTAG Calls Off Strike…Urges Gov’t To Fulfill Its Part Of Bargain

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang

POTAG President James Dugrah has urged the government to fulfill promises in a Memorandum of Understanding which formed basis for the association to call off a three-month old strike.

Leaders of the Association met with its members just after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government Tuesday afternoon.

The meeting sought the endorsement of members on the agreement reached with the government after which the three-month long strike was called off.

Mr. Dugrah told Joy News’ Fred Smith that ‘based on the good will of government and how we have arrived at an agreement; we have decided to call off our strike.’

POTAG, he added, also considered the appeal from students, the clergy and the general public to get back to the classroom.

‘We think that it is good for us to compromise our position and we are very hopeful that government will not renege on her responsibilities to make sure that our book and research allowance especially, for the 2013/2014 academic year is paid as promised within the shortest possible time,’ the POTAG president emphasized.

Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) members have been on strike since May 15, 2014 over the non-payment of their book and research allowance since 2013.

Members of the University Teachers Association (UTAG) also embarked on a similar action in July, forcing many public universities to delay reopening for this academic year.

Employment Minister Haruna Iddrisu convened an earlier meeting with POTAG Tuesday, announcing that the government had resolved to immediately effect payment of outstanding book and research allowance for the 2013/2014 academic year.

According to him, the ‘government will endeavour to facilitate and complete the payment of the areas before the end of the fiscal year, 2014.’

‘The National Council for Tertiary Education is to facilitate with the Minister of Finance, all the processes leading to members of faculty accessing their due, under the book and research allowance,’ he said.

Moreover, the minister noted that the government has also requested the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to engage with POTAG and UTAG on the establishment of the national research fund as well as negotiations on their conditions of service.

After the engagement, the Commission is expected to make appropriate recommendations to the government for possible action.

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