The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has given detailed reasons for their nationwide strike action scheduled to take place on 2nd August, 2021 until further notice.
According to the Association, the decision to embark on a strike has become very necessary due to the failure of
Government to cooperate with the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to complete negotiations on its
Conditions of Service (CoS), which started in August 2018. They said, although some
progress has been made in some respects, the key areas at the core of their CoS have seen no progress and It appears there is no end in sight whilst our members continue to wallow in worsening economic conditions.
Speaking at a Press Conference monitored by Coverghana.com.gh, the UTAG president, Professor Charles Marfo, said, 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.
The Association said, It is instructive to note that the few times UTAG has had to meet Government over the negotiations of its CoS, 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 that we find ourselves here today. For emphasis, the progress
made so far is abysmal and, indeed, nothing to write home about.
They again said, UTAG finds this lukewarm attitude of Government as worrying and frustrating, hence, the need for this press conference to inform the public of the unfair treatment against UTAG. UTAG wishes to state clearly that the Association is not in any way seeking to make anybody or institution unpopular as some narratives, unfortunately, seek to portray. Rather, all we seek to do is to let the public and everyone else understand that UTAG
members have been left to wallow in worsening conditions of service for far
too long and that we deserve some meaningful attention.
The President, on behalf of the Association has also provided a brief account of how low UTAG members have fallen in terms of their CoS over the years. 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
“At the end of the road map in 2008, the monthly entry point salary of
the Lecturer was USD1,500 payable in Cedi equivalent. Per the agreement of
the five-year roadmap, general increases in salaries in subsequent years would apply to the USD1,500. Also, with the advent and subsequent implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) policy for public sector workers in the country, in the negotiations that ended in January 2012,
an Interim Market Premium (IPM) was fixed at 114% of the basic salary and
this led to a Lecturer being paid the Cedi equivalent of USD 2,084.41 from
January 2012. It is important to note that the 114% of the basic salary was
determined to ensure that the gains made with the SJNC in 2003 would be
“One key element in the implementation of the SSSS was the fact that no employee was to be made worse off with the new pay
regime. Nevertheless, the academic senior member has become worse off
following the implementation of the SSSS pay policy. At the beginning of 2020, the entry gross salary (i.e., Basic plus Market Premium) of a lecturer in the public universities was USD997.84 (GHC5,687.66) far less than the USD1,500 per month that was reached at the end of the roadmap in 2008 and further improved with the SSSS in 2012 to USD2,084.42. Clearly, you can see the drop of over USD1,086.57, i.e., GHC6,193.45, a drop which is more than the Lecturer’s present take home pay. I believe you will agree with UTAG that this
is unacceptable. Indeed, the question one would naturally ask is, “Do we aspire for progression in income or otherwise?” He further explained.
Professor Charles Marfo added that, for the sake of industrial harmony and not to
compound the already jeopardised academic calendar of the public
universities, UTAG demands that Government should just restore the 2012
values for the lecturer without recourse to adjustments. UTAG believes that
this demand is appropriate and fair. If Government finds this difficult to do, UTAG is willing to follow a road map as suggested by the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu’s report on the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders, June 2020.
“In the preamble of that document at page(xi) and iterated elsewhere again in the document and I quote “the Committee
strongly urges the Government to also spare no efforts at reducing the wide
gap between the highest and lowest paid Public Servant in the Country. This
can be achieved by implementing a roadmap (as was done during the
tenure of former President Kuffuor for the health and education tertiary sectors) for enhancing the salaries of public sector workers on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS). The goal must be that the salary earned by every worker should enable him/her to live in dignity”.
You may recall that in a press release dated 17th June, 2021, UTAG stated that “further delay on the negotiation beyond the end of July 2021 will compel UTAG to advise itself”. Thus, until our demands are considered and met in-toto, UTAG would have no other option than to embark on industrial action by withdrawing teaching, which includes the conduct of examinations, marking of examination scripts, and other related matters, starting from Monday, 2nd of August 2021 until further notice.
Find attached, the full statement on Stalled Negotiation on the condition of Service of UTAG Members.