Four worker unions in the public universities of Ghana will from today, Monday, October 17, 2022, begin a sit-down strike to demand better conditions of service.
The unions had suspended an earlier threat to strike last week after meeting with the National Labour Commission.
But following the meeting, the unions say the government has not met its side of the bargain.
The unions, UTAG, GAUA, SSA-UoG, and TEWU-GH want issues relating to their fuel, vehicle maintenance, and off-campus allowances addressed before they resume work.
Below is a statement they issued:
BLATANT UNILATERAL VARIATION OF AGREED CONDITIONS OF SERVICE IN THE FACE OF HOSTILE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
The National Leaders of UTAG, GAUA, SSA-UoG, and TEWU-GH have made several efforts since April 2022 to address some issues related to their Fuel, Vehicle Maintenance, and Off-Campus Allowances. Following the Press Conference by the Labour Unions, the National Labour Commission (NLC) invited the parties to a hearing on 12th October 2022, where the Commission entreated the parties to engage. It is important to state that up until the NLC hearing, the Employer had not responded to any of the letters of the Labour Unions or the request of the Commission for the Employer to respond to the complaints of the Labour Unions.
Per the directives of the Commission, as captured in its letter dated 13th October 2022 with reference number NLC/C-42/2022/391C, the National Leaders of UTAG, GAUA, SSA-UoG, and TEWU-GH responded to an invitation for a meeting with our Employer by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) on Friday, 14th October 2022 at the Ministry of Education Conference Room.
In the said meeting, the Employer was represented by the Honourable Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Honourable Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Honourable Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei Asare, the Honourable Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobby, the Chief Executive of the FWSC, Ing. Benjamin Arthur, the Director General of Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Prof. Mohammed Salifu, among other officials.
The NLC ruling stated that the meeting was for “… the parties to engage within one week on the terms of payment and other related matters …”. However, the Employer failed to present the “terms of payment” for the Vehicle Maintenance and Off-Campus Allowances, which are the main issues in contention, as directed by the NLC. Rather, they suggested the formation of a 10-member committee to address only the Off-Campus Allowance. The leaders of the four (4) Labour Unions rejected the “suggestion” and rather pushed for an enforcement of the 2022 adjusted fuel ex-pump rate of GH¢10.99, thus, the meeting ended in a stalemate.
As a result of this development, we write to communicate that the intended strike action of all Labour Unions in the public universities in Ghana is to commence from Monday, 17th October 2022 as the Employer has, once again, failed to adhere to the directive of the NLC.
Meanwhile, the National Leadership of the Labour Unions in the public universities in Ghana appreciate the overwhelming support given so far and we entreat all members to continue to stay calm and cooperate with Leadership as we strive for a favourable resolution.