General News of Monday, 17 July 2017
The UEW wing of the Economic Fighters League has admonished lecturers of the university to use legitimate channels to address their concerns rather than strike.
The group said in a press statement on Monday, 17 July that: “If lecturers feel they have any genuine concerns, which we believe they do, we advise them to channel them to the appropriate quarters and Fighters can assure them of the unflinching support of students in that regard”.
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG)-University of Education, Winneba branch declared an indefinite strike last week Friday to register their disappointment in the decision of the Winneba High Court to put an injunction on all projects and contracts of the university.
The court also ordered the Vice Chancellor and the Finance Officer of the University to step aside until the determination of a case pending before it.
Speaking to Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on 505 on Class91.3FM on Friday, 14 July, 2017, UTAG-UEW President Dr Samuel Ofori Bekoe said the lecturers were staying away from the lecture halls until the injunction placed on projects is lifted.
He explained: “Among the reliefs, the [plaintiff] is seeking is that contracts that are being awarded should be declared null and void because it didn’t go through due process, but let me say that those contracts are not university contracts, they are not public contracts.
“They are GUSSS contracts and these are private pension funds of the lecturers, of which every member is contributing 25 per cent of their basic salaries to, because we want to enhance our pensions. And the money that we are having, we have gone for a loan and we are investing in constructing commercial centres and hostels so that our pensions will be better. And somebody, an ordinary person from outside the university who is not a contributor to this pension plan, has gone to court to claim an injunction on the project and you say I should be happy? And I should praise him for doing that?
“What is the interest of that person and the interest of other Ghanaians on GUSSS? [If] it collapses, which Ghanaian is going to contribute to it? So that is the issue. Until they remove the GUSSS from it, we won’t go to the lecture hall.”
However, the Fighters insist that the court’s ruling must be respected.
Below is the full statement:
FIGHTERS, UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA STUDENTS COMMAND
END IMMORAL STRIKE ACTION NOW!
The attention of Fighters, University of Education Winneba Students Command, has been drawn to a media report suggesting that the UEW branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is on an indefinite strike action following a Winneba High Court order for the Vice Chancellor and Chief Finance Officer to hand over to the Pro Vice Chancellor until the substantive case is ruled on.
While we feel the frustration and pain of lecturers of the University of Education Winneba, we believe that the Court’s ruling must be respected. If lecturers feel they have any genuine concerns, which we believe they do, we advise them to channel them to the appropriate quarters and Fighters can assure them of the unflinching support of students in that regard.
Our greatest concern lies with Sandwich students and students in other modules who would be unfairly affected by the strike action. The strike action makes students the ones to bear the ultimate brunt of the whole issue which is unjust.
We the Fighters of the University of Education Winneba Students Command, by this release call for a halt to the indefinite strike action by lecturers and affirm our solidarity with them.
We also call on government to, within two weeks, constitute a new governing council for the University.
Conveners: Fighter Benjamin Opoku-Mensah Fighter Edmilson Atta Fosu