General News of Saturday, 20 October 2018
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) intends to fight against government’s directive that retired lecturers above the age of 65 be made to go by the public universities or pay them through the University’s Internally Generated Funds.
UTAG President in an interview monitored by Mynewsgh.com said it is not a fair decision and government must reconsider as it will affect lecturer-student ratios.
“With the current deficit in the lecturer-student population in the country, what would happen if the lecturers’ contracts are cancelled and the students who are in the Free SHS programme graduate?” Dr Eric Opoku Mensah said on Citi FM.
“The decision to cancel the contracts of the lecturers will affect the public universities” he added.
But he admitted there is not grounding in law for the decision to give retired lecturers more years.
“There’s no legal backing for the additional contract years given to the lecturers when they reach the age of 60” he said.
“The additional contract years are not automatic for the lecturers. The health of the lecturers and whether their services are still needed are among factors that are considered”, he explained, adding that ”over the years it’s been the practice that when senior lecturers reach the age of 60, they get 5 more years, associate professors get 8 more years and full professors get 10”.
The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has warned all public Universities to sack all lecturers and professors who are aged above 65 years and are teaching in public universities across the country.
The Universities are supposed to ensure the sack happens by the end of this month MyNewsGH.com learnt.
The order letter was signed by the Executive Secretary of the Council, Prof. Mohammed Salifu, referencing Article 199 of the 1992 Constitution which prescribed age limit of 65 years for appointment in the public sector.
“Based on this premise, it is argued that universities have no justification to engage retired staff above 65 years on post-retirement contract.” the letter said.
“Only post-retirement contract staff in the age group of 60-65 should remain on government payroll,” the letter warned.
The letter further directed that all academic staff above 65 are to be taken off government payroll and reassigned as consultants if their services are still required.
If the universities choose to keep these over 65-year-old lecturers and professors then they will bear the cost themselves.