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Public universities unions to strike over fuel allowance variations

Effective October 5, 2022, four labour unions in the public universities of Ghana will withdraw their services if the Government failed to resolve issues in their conditions of service.

They cited a letter from the Ministry of Finance on the revision of fuel allowance payable to eligible staff in public and technical universities without following the laid down procedures for negotiations.

According to Unions, the leadership of the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana in a letter to the Ministry of Finance sought clarification on the basis for the unilateral variation in the conditions of service for workers of public universities, but there was no response.

Professor Solomon Nunoo, National President of UTAG, assured members that they will resist any attempt by the government to vary the terms of their agreed condition of service without due process.

The Unions are the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Ghana Association of University Administrators, the Tertiary Education Workers’ Union of Ghana and the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, Prof. Nunoo advised the government to be circumspect as the unions do not take delight in disrupting the academic calendar, but when compelled to do so, they will not hesitate.

He explained that in UTAG’s previous letters, it stated that per the signed Memorandum of Agreement between the Employer and UTAG on June 16, 2021, the employer agreed to review the fuel allowance bi-annually with the approved rates and the first date of review should have occurred in December 2021 but did not happen in spite of the reminders sent to the employer.

Prof Nunoo said the Ministry of Finance on August 5, 2022, gave approval for the adjustment of the ex-pump price of fuel with a unit cost pegged at GH₵10.99 per litre with effect from July 1, 2022, for all eligible staff.

He stated that the unions had noticed disparities in the implementation of the adjusted ex-pump rate, which will be applicable only to duty bearers of the universities contrary to the existing practice with reference to vehicle maintenance and off-campus allowances.

“We are registering our displeasure with the directive and requesting that under no circumstance should Vice-Chancellors, through their Finance Directors, implement such by applying  the GH₵10.99 ex-pump approved rate only to fuel allowance without considering vehicle maintenance and off-campus allowances,” he said.

Prof Nunoo noted that the unions had observed that the implementation of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission document on harmonised allowances had made the university administrators and professionals worse off and called for urgent attention.

He appealed to the government to speed up the payment of the Research and Book Allowance, which was to be paid at the end of August 2022.





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