The University of Ghana (UG) Branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), has resolved to embark on an indefinite industrial action effective January 3, 2022.
The strike is to protest the National Executive Committee’s (NEC) decision to accept the government’s Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) proposing among others the payment of a $1,600 research allowance to members of UTAG.
UG-UTAG in a statement said the NEC confirmed acceptance of the MoA even though some chapters of UTAG were opposed to the agreement.
It thus asked the NEC to withdraw its communiqué suggesting that an agreement was reached by UTAG members to accept the research allowance and a proposal for the government to complete a Labour Market Survey Report to determine the review of the Interim Market Premium by December 2021 for implementation in 2022.
UTAG Legon wants the NEC to inform the government of UTAG’s rejection of the MoA.
The statement signed by the President and Secretary of the UG branch of UTAG called on all other branch members to support its decision to dissociate themselves from the UTAG National leadership for signing up to a deal that will not further the interest of its membership.
“UG-UTAG is resolved to take a unilateral decision to stand on its resolution of rejection of the MoA and embark on an indefinite industrial action effective January 3, 2022. We call on all other branch members to support our decision to dissociate ourselves from the UTAG National leadership for entering into a deal that does not completely represent the interest of its membership, except perhaps for themselves only.”
The statement said the decision to approve and ratify the MoA was subjected to a vote by all branch members of UTAG and was subsequently rejected.
“Consequently, the University of Ghana branch of UTAG (UG-UTAG), at its meeting held on Friday 17th December 2021, upheld its resolution of 8th October 2021, that overwhelmingly rejected the 6th October 2021 MoA that among others, proposed USD 1600 Research Allowance payable to UTAG members in 2024.
“The Friday 17th December meeting of UG-UTAG also rejected the purported NEC acceptance of the proposed Research Allowance, at its meeting on 11th November 2021,” portions of the statement said.
Six other branch members of UTAG, that is KNUST, UDS, UEW, SDD-UBIDS, CKT-UTAS, and UENR also supported the decision to reject the MoA.
UG-UTAG said it thus finds it surprising that NEC confirmed the acceptance of the MoA despite an overwhelming rejection of the same by the branch members.
“UG-UTAG finds this outcome very strange and in violation of the UTAG Constitution. First, there is no written evidence in support of the decisions made by the 8 universities, unlike the clear and unequivocal manner in which the 7 universities that voted against the MoA expressed themselves through a resolution.
“Further, assuming that evidence to that effect is available (and we subject NEC to strict proof of this), relying on article XVIII sec 2 of the UTAG Constitution, NEC cannot use the decision of the 8 universities to conclude that, based on a majority vote, the MoA should be accepted,” it said.
It argued that since the membership of UG-UTAG and the six other campuses that formally submitted written resolutions to reject the MoA, constitute more than 60 percent of the entire local membership of UTAG across the country, the decision to reject the MoA should be determined by the number of individual members as defined by the UTAG Constitution, but not by the number of branch members.