The Technical University Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG) has declared a sit-down strike with immediate effect following the refusal of Government to offer them the same conditions of service as lecturers in public universities.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency and signed by Dr. Solomon A. Keelson, National President of TUTAG, explained that the Association had been denied the required conditions of service for Public Universities since it was upgraded from Polytechnics to Technical Universities.
“We submitted a letter dated August 29, 2018, notifying the National Labour Commission (NLC) of our intention to embark upon industrial action to press home our demand for immediate migration.
“We subsequently received a letter from the NLC dated August 30, 2018, summoning us to a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, 2018. We attended upon this summons but the NLC failed or neglected to sit and hear our case, and left us stranded at the offices of the Commission”.
The statement explained that it is in view of this, that the association has declared an indefinite sit-down strike, having followed the requirements of the labors laws of Ghana.
It explained that there exist conditions of service that apply in public universities in the country and as it is the standard practice, staff of newly established public universities was migrated onto such existing conditions of service.
“Such migration is legal, logical, fair, right and just since the prevailing conditions of service apply to the category of employees referred to in the agreed terms, for which we stand qualified,” the statement said.
The statement noted that even when there is variance in relation to the conditions of service as provided for, and enjoyed by Technical Universities, they had continued to fulfill their duties, responsibilities, and obligations to the Universities.
It said: “The failure of our employer so far, to migrate us onto the requisite pay structure that pertains to public universities is hurtful in several respects and tensions on the various campuses have reached a crescendo”.
It noted that the Association rejects the preconditions set by the Ministry of Education through the National Council for Tertiary Education after a letter of request was sent to the sector to expedite action along with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to remedy the situation.
The statement explained that the preconditions which are the enactment of statuses, adoption of an approved scheme of service and conduct of a comprehensive staff audit deemed as necessary by the Ministry before migrating TUTAG onto the conditions of service are just excuses to delay the process.
“The continuous delay in migrating staff of Technical Universities onto the conditions of service that apply in public universities is unfair and unjust because the establishment of Technical Universities also means an upgrade in corresponding conditions of service commensurate with the new status.
“However, since 2016 we have been public universities by stature and responsibilities but continue to receive Polytechnics conditions of service, unlike the case of the University of Professional Studies and University of Winneba, where various staffs were immediately migrated onto the conditions of service of public universities”.
The statement revealed that due to the delay in migrating the Technical Universities onto the Public Universities’ single spine salary structure, there are discrepancies in reward to staff.
It stressed that, as a result, most of the lecturers with Ph.D. and other Professionals, who are disgruntled with the situation continue to leave for the other public universities.
The statement noted that the implications are that any further delay to migrate the staff could lead to huge loss of a lot of qualified lecturers to the other established Public Universities.
It added that those who choose to stay would also suffer financial loses and it will go a long way to affect negatively, the President’s vision of industrializing Ghana through Technical Vocational Education and Training.
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