The University Teachers Association of Ghana, University of Ghana Branch (UTAG-UG) has expressed solidarity with sister unions on strike to press home demands for a better condition of service (CoS).

The Senior Staff Association of Public Universities and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress (TEWU-TUC), have embarked on a strike action to demand better conditions of service.

Among other issues, they have cited the prevailing economic conditions as well as what they say is the government’s refusal to deliver on its promises as the reasons for their strike action.

Per UTAG-UG, the concerns raised by these unions are legitimate and has assured their striking colleagues of their continued support in this regard.

“It is rather unfortunate that people entrusted with authority to oversee the welfare of labour act irresponsibly by paying lip service to agreements reached and unilaterally varying CoS to the disadvantage of labour without prior discourse, in blatant contravention of the law.

“There are clear guidelines on how and when Tier 2 pensions should be deducted and paid to appropriate managers for investment. Failure to follow due process in this regard deprives people of their rightfully earned pensions, leading to despondency when they retire.

“This is very cruel and inhumane,” the statement signed by president of UTAG-UG, Prof. Ransford Gyampo stated.

UTAG-UG noted that it is also currently contemplating “its own course of action regarding its condition of service because of Government’s lackadaisical and contemptuous approach to negotiations.”

“We understand that reward, satisfaction and productivity, go hand-in-hand, and that UG-UTAG, is likely to toe the same line of action, and communicate to government in the manner it better understands should this behaviour continue to persist.

“We can no longer cajole government even as it remains disrespectful and unwilling to address pertinent labour concerns. The subtle attempt to use the coercive powers of the state to intimidate, harass and quell labour agitations without Government’s willingness to address their concerns is most regrettable,” the statement read.

It further expressed its intention to “join you [the striking unions] in positive defiance of any bogus attempt at using state institutions to fight against labour’s legitimate action.”

According to UTAG-UG, the only way out of this quagmire is for government to immediately address the demands of labour “in a manner devoid of the usual unseriousness, contempt, mediocrity and propaganda.”

“We urge Government to do the needful to halt the fast-worsening CoS of labour, and the possibility of joint industrial action that could shut down public universities in Ghana. We urge state institutions to be circumspect in the discharge of their duties.

“The use of unfair and intimidating tactics to prevent the legitimate expression of lawful concerns would surely be met with resistance and a disruption of industrial peace and harmony,” it stated.