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UTAG strike: Gov’t negotiation team incompetent – Gyampo

Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has described the government’s negotiation team as abysmal and incompetent in their attempts to find a resolution to the strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).

According to Professor Gyampo, the government has been negotiating with the leadership of UTAG for the last 10 years but has failed to find a resolution to their grievances.

“I think there’s a way out in my view [but] some of us have called for an independent third party to intervene because as far as I’m concerned those who have negotiated on government’s behalf have been abysmal and demonstrated much incompetence.

“We have been negotiating since 2012 and today I heard there’s a meeting to discuss a roadmap to negotiation. They are not going to negotiate. I find it laughable…University teachers do not eat meetings and negotiations. We have gone through these negotiations for almost ten years, how many more years do you want us to negotiate? Tell us so we tell UTAG members so that we know we’re negotiating in perpetuity,” Professor Gyampo on Wednesday in an interview on the Morning Starr.

UTAG began an indefinite industrial action last Tuesday over poor conditions of service and the failure of the government to resolve long-standing grievances.

The NLC however says the action is irregular especially since the leadership of the association is still negotiating with the government over their demands.

The NLC secured a 10-day interlocutory injunction on the strike by UTAG.

The 13-membership universities of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have unanimously agreed to continue with their strike despite the suit against it by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

The group in a statement Monday said: “Following the stalling of negotiations with the government on our Conditions of Service (CoS), which culminated in our declaration of a nationwide withdrawal of teaching and related activities among member public universities, all local branch executives were tasked by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to convene an emergency meeting to solicit the views of members on the way forward.

“The consensus is that the withdrawal of teaching and related activities must continue until the government puts some enhanced and progressive proposals on the table. The call is also for us to remain focused, united and resolute in our quest to ensure that government initiates and implements appropriate measures to improve our CoS”.

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