The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has embarked on its industrial deadlock against the Govemment of Ghana following government’s inability to thoroughly address the concerns of the Association.
The recent UTAG strike is happening at a dreadful cost to innocent university students all over the country for almost three (3) weeks now.
The continued nationwide strike which entered its third week leaves University students in a state of dilemma as to whether or not to continue their stay on campus or not.
There is a school of thought that, whenever there is a continued strike action in any public educational institution for twenty-one (21) continuous days, there should be a closure of the institution, leading to restructuring of its academic calendar. Some commentators believe that, such assertion is not true while others have affirmed the earlier position.
But, the latest information picked by Coverghana.com.gh has confirmed that, it’s a fact for a closure of educational institutions which faced 21 continuous days strike or any activities leading to the interuption of the institution’s academic calendar.
THE POSITION OF THE UNIVERSITY STATUE ON CLOSURE OF UNIVERSITY
By statutes, public universities must be closed down after 21 days of non-academic work. This means that, the Academic Board of the University shall order a closure of the University under the supervision of the University’s Council.
In reference to the Powers and Functions of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Statutes, 2016, as captured under STATUTE 5: ACADEMIC BOARD, 5.2 (l) says, the Governing Council of the University has the powers to order the closure of the University where academic or normal life is disrupted for three continuous days and it seems to it fit to do so, and in any event, order the closure of the University where academic or normal life is disrupted for 21 continuous days.
This, according to the Statutes shall be done without prejudice to the generality of the powers of the Academic Board prescribed by the Law, the powers and functions of the Academic Board shall be as follows:
ANNOUNCEMENT OF UTAG LATEST STRIKE
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has announced or declared its latest strike action on Monday, 10th January, 2022. This means that, after 21 continuous days, the Academic Board of the University has to order a closure of the University.
OTHER POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC BOARD OF UNIVERSITIES.
The University Academic Board, according to the Statutes has the power to;
(a) Formulate the academic policies of the University including policies relating to programmes of study, admission, teaching, assessment, progression, research and award of degrees and other academic distinctions.
(b) Advise Council on the appointment of academic staff.
(c) Make recommendations to Council on the academic structure of the University.
(d) Consider and approve programmes and courses and recommend them for accreditation.
(e) Recommend to Council the affiliation of other institutions to the University on such terms and conditions as it may deem
(f) Determine the conditions under which and the extent, if any, to which periods and courses of study and examinations
passed at other Universities, places of learning and other institutions may be regarded as equivalent to periods and
programmes and courses of study and examinations in the University.
(g) Determine, subject to any condition given by University’s donors which are accepted by Council, and after report from
Faculty or School Boards concerned, the mode and conditions of competition for fellowships, scholarships, bursaries, medals, prizes and any other awards.
(h) Determine the academic calendar.
(i) Refer proposals on any matter within the remit of Convocation, for consideration by Convocation.
(j) Review the decisions of any of its statutory committees.
(k) Deliberate on the inspection report of visiting committees.
(l) Order the closure of the University where academic or normal life is disrupted for three continuous days and it seems to it fit to do so, and in any event, order the closure of the University where academic or normal life is disrupted for 21 continuous days.
Below is the Statutes of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), 2016.
POSITION OF NATIONAL LABOUR COMMISSION (NLC)
Following the declarations of the UTAG strike, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has ruled that the strike declared by the association is illegal and directed that university teachers return to the classroom. They have also dragged the UTAG to Court to determine the eligibility of the strike.
RESOLUTION PASSED BY UTAG BRANCHES
However, the 13 local branches of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have held meetings during which they passed a resolution that, they will strike until further notice.
This strike has left many students stranded on many public university campuses for almost three weeks after they reported to school for academic work to begin for the first semester of the 2022 academic year.
SOME REASONS FOR THE UTAG STRIKE
UTAG declared its strike action because:
1. Government’s failure to cooperate with the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to complete negotiations on its Conditions of Service (CoS), which started in August 2018.
2. The agreement with government with the coming in force of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) in 2012 meant that an entry-level lecturer will receive the Ghana cedi equivalent of $2,084 was not fulfill.
3. Government has always failed to respect the Rules of Engagement signed between the two parties to guide the negotiations, specifically, the full complement of key Government officials who could be described as having locus and, for that matter, capable of committing Government into any serious discussion are always absent. It is in the face of this exhibition of bad faith and abysmal progress made in the negotiations.
4. In 2003, upon a recommendation by a Standing Joint Negotiation Committee (SJNC), Government accepted a five-year (2004-2008) roadmap for improvement in
the levels of remuneration for senior members of the public universities in Ghana but failed to implement that.
According to the Association, all their thirteen (13) member campuses will officially resume teaching and all academic related activities on Monday, 23rd August, 2021 across the country.
Find attached, the full statement on Stalled Negotiation on the condition of Service of UTAG Members.