Nine universities have voted to reject the decision of the National Executive Council of University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to temporarily suspend its industrial action, for negotiations with government to continue.
They are University of Ghana (UG), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), SD-Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS).
The others are C.K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS), University of Environment Sustainable Development (UESD), University of Education Winneba (UEW), University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
However, the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) had voted to accept the decision of NEC to suspend the industrial action.
Following the outcome of the referendum, the UG UTAG chapter in a letter to the Vice Chancellor, singed by the UG UTAG secretary, Prof.RansfordGyampo and sighted by the Ghanaian Times, revealed that lecturers were unwilling to return to the classroom.
Parts of the letter highlighted that “UTAG-NEC decision to suspend the strike, has been rejected by majority of members of public universities in Ghana, and it will not be prudent to commence teaching for few days, only to resume the strike again, given the toll this may likely impose on students and parents.”
It further explained that “given the trust deficit between UTAG and government, members indicated their preference to see the outcome of the talks/engagement (not negotiations) initiated by the government to resolve the impasse (which is expected to end on March 4, 2022), before they return to the classroom.”
Consequently, the National President of UTAG, Prof. Solomon Nunoo, who was speaking in an interview on JoyNews monitored by the Ghanaian Times in Accra over the weekend, indicated that UTAG per its bye laws could resume the strike action if majority, which is eight schools voted against the decision to suspend the strike.
“It is a simple majority so we’d have to decide on the date for the next strike action. In that case the NEC needs to have an extraordinary meeting to decide on the next date for the strike action to be continued. That is accurate, but that doesn’t stop us from starting a new strike,” he explained.
It is still unclear if lecturers of the member school would return to the classroom as expected.
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE