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Monday, January 17, 2022

We are here because of mistrust – NPP’s Padmore Agyapong

Padmore Baffour Agyapong, Member of the New Patriotic Party's communication teamPadmore Baffour Agyapong, Member of the New Patriotic Party’s communication team

A member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s communication team, Padmore Baffour Agyapong says the level of suspicion between those in academia and politics is a reason for the frequent strike actions in the education sector.

He explained that those in academia think the actions of politicians are not in the interest of the country while politicians also presume those in academia are always coming after them.

Reacting to a possible strike action by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) from Friday, October 8, Padmore indicated, “We are here because there is no trust in the system. Those in academia think politicians are not helping the country with their actions and inactions, and vice versa. And if they all take entrenched positions, it only births strike actions.”

The politician indicated that strike actions hurt the educational system and if this impasse is not resolved timely with consensus and a certain level of trust, “our educational sector will suffer drastically.”

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Citing himself as an example, he disclosed, “I was a victim of a strike action which led me to suffer a voluntarily two-year academic gap. I stayed home for two years before proceeding to the university. We don’t want to go back to those days.”

On his accord, Senior High School leavers will soon be applying to tertiary institutions and if the strike action is realized and drags on, his experience might be repeated, he shared in a panel discussion on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show with Don Kwabena Prah.

He charged the ruling government to form a strong negotiation team to meet UTAG and reach a compromise to the strike does not happen.

Background

The National Executive Committee of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has indicated that its members will from Friday, October 8, lay down their tools.

According to the Association, the decision was reached after the committee held its 20th Congress following discussions with the government on Monday, September 26, to discuss its wages and welfare packages.

At the said meeting, it was revealed that government could not go beyond the Cedi equivalent of $1200 payable in 2024, an amount that was rejected by the Association in a previous meeting.

UTAG however, proposed a minimum of the Cedi equivalent of $250 per month for research allowance (plus a review of the 2024 implementation), and the implementation of the new Market premium by December 21, 2021.

Failure of which the Market Premium was to be restored to 2013 Interim Market Premium value of 114% of the basic salary and be allowed to apply on every current basic salary.

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