So far so good, the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Government of Ghana have reached a preliminary concensus to go back to the negotiation table to further discussion the pending Condition of Service for UTAG Members so as to call off their indefinite nationwide strike.
The memorandum of Agreement between the parties is contained in a letter signed by the Education Minister Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum and the National President of UTAG Prof. Charles Ofosu Marfo on behalf of UTAG Members and Government of Ghana after an emergency meeting held in Accra.
The Government team, represented by the Ministries of Employment and Labour Relations and Education, on one part and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), on the other met on Wednesday, 18th August 2021 to deliberate on issues relating to their Conditions of Service as well as the matters pending before the Labour Commission and the Law Court.
The parties expressed grave concern about the consequences of the ongoing labour impasse between Government and UTAG over negotiations related to the latter’s conditions of service on the prevailing industrial atmosphere in the country in general and in particular, the 2020/2021 academic calendar of public universities.
READ MORE: UTAG Strike: 13 Public Universities issue resolution to continue nationwide strike
The parties acknowledged the legitimacy of the grievances of UTAG and the protracted efforts to have them resolved. The consultative meeting further expressed the preparedness of all the parties, and Vice Chancellors, Ghana (VCG), to work expeditiously to resolve the industrial dispute between UTAG and Government.
Following the deliberations, the parties have agreed as follows:
1. That both parties (Government and UTAG) agree that there is a need to get back to the negotiating table from the week beginning Monday, 23rd August 2021.
2. That a roadmap for negotiation, as agreed at previous consultative meetings between them (Government and UTAG), which imposes a one-month mandatory period beginning 23rd August 2021 for negotiations, shall be signed by both parties.
3. That whilst the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in conjunction with the National Labour Commission (NLC) is taking steps to DISCONTINUE all legal processes (i.e., National Labour Commission vs. University Teachers Association of Ghana, Suit No. IL/0116/2021) against UTAG, UTAG will also take steps to SUSPEND the on-going strike action.
4. That Government acknowledges the need to improve the working conditions of University Teachers and shall treat this with all the seriousness it deserves.