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Labour Unions in public universities declare strike effective today

All Labour Unions in public universities in the country have declared a strike effective today, Monday, October 17, 2022.

According to the Unions, the strike action is a direct response to government’s failure to adhere to a directive issued by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

They revealed that instead of government presenting terms of payment of vehicle maintenance and off-campus allowances as directed by the NLC, the government at a meeting held on Friday rather proposed the formation of a 10-member Committee which the Unions rejected and the meeting ended in a stalemate.

A joint statement declaring the strike was signed by Prof. Solomon Nunoo, National President of University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr Mrs Beth Offei-Awuku, National President of Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA, Mr Isaac Donkor, National Chairman of the Tertiary Education Workers’ Union of Ghana and the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) and Mr Sulemana Abdul-Rahman, National Chairman of the Tertiary Education Workers’ Union of Ghana  (TEWU).

The statement dated Sunday, October 16, 2022, explained that the Unions made several efforts since April to address some issues related to fuel, vehicle maintenance, and off-campus allowances.

It said following a press conference, the NLC invited the parties to a hearing on October 12, 2022, where the Commission entreated the parties to engage

After hearing the concerns of the Unions, NLC asked the Labour Unions and government to engage within one week on the terms of payment and other related matters and report back to it.

The Commission specifically requested the parties to engage on Friday,  October 14, and Monday, October  17, 2022.

The case is adjourned to October 19, 2022, at 3 p.m.

The Unions pointed out that prior to the NLC hearing, government never responded to any of their letter or the request of the Commission for government to respond to their complaints.

According to them, they responded to an invitation for a meeting by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission on Friday, October 14, 2022, at the Ministry of Finance.

The Unions revealed the government was represented by Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum , Education Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Abena Osei Asare, Deputy Minister of Finance, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ing. Benjamin Arthur, Chief Executive of FWSC, and Prof Mohammed Salifu, Director General of Ghana Tertiary Education Commission among others.

Despite the NLC directive that the parties should engage within one week, the  Unions said government failed to present the terms of payment for vehicle maintenance and off-campus allowances which are the main issues in contention.

The Unions said government rather suggested the formation of a 10-member committee to address only off-campus allowance.

The Union leaders said they rejected the suggestion and rather pushed for enforcement of the 2022 adjusted fuel ex-pump rate of GH₵10.99.

In view of this, the Unions disclosed that the meeting ended in a stalemate.

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