Activities in Ghana’s public universities came to a grinding halt on Monday after academic and non-academic staff embarked on an indefinite strike over pay.
The action followed separate directives from the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Senior Staff Association-Universities of Ghana (SSAUoG), and the Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association of Ghana (FUSSAG) to their members to withdraw all teaching and related activities on campus beginning Monday, August 2, 2020.
UTAG President, Professor Charles Marfo, warned the government that unless conditions of service are improved, their strike will not be called off.
According to him, the latest strike action was sparked by the increase in salaries for Article 71 officeholders, who are already being paid more than double what lecturers receive.
Marfo said lecturers’ salaries have decreased over the years at public universities across the country, with the government failing to restore them to what was agreed upon in 2012.
Ghana’s government had announced a 4% salary increase for public sector employees this year and another 7% increase for next year. Nevertheless, some university staff unions have argued that the salary hike is inadequate.
The lecturers are demanding the government implement the 2012 agreement which provided entry-level lecturers with $2,084.42 as monthly salary.
Marfo said with the current arrangement, the entry-level salary of a lecturer is less than $400 while a professor earns less than $900 monthly.
Meanwhile, the National Executive Councils of the SSAUoG and the FUSSAG also directed all their members across the 16 Public Universities in Ghana to resume an indefinite industrial strike from Monday, August 2, 2021.
SSAUoG accused the government of failing to meet the “19th May 2071 Sixty (60) day’s ultimatum to resolve all their concerns about:
“Computation of Tier 2 pension interest on the accumulated (2010-2016) principal amount paid on May 17, 2021, and its refusal to establish a payment plan, as well as the Finalization of conditions of service, which has not been reviewed since 2008.”
It further noted that the 9th June 2021 agreement between SSA-UoG and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FSC), supervised and witnessed by Vice-Chancellors Ghana and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to use the period from 30th June 30 -19th July 2071 within which to conclude all the outstanding negotiations, turned out to be a hoax upon expiration.
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