UTAG taking steps to end strike, returning to negotiation table

BY: Kweku Zurek
UTAG taking steps to end strike, returning to negotiation table
UTAG taking steps to end strike, returning to negotiation table

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is taking steps to suspend its ongoing strike action after an emergency meeting with the National Labour Commission (NLC) and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.

Both parties (Government and UTAG) have also agreed to discontinue all legal processes concerning the strike and have given themselves a one-month mandatory period beginning August 23, 2021, to conclude negotiations.

A Memorandum of Agreement signed by the government and UTAG after the meeting on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 states that the government "acknowledges the need to improve the working conditions of University Teachers and shall treat this will all the seriousness it deserves".

The Memorandum was jointly signed by the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum and the National President, UTAG, Professor Charles Ofosu Marfo.

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, August 23, 2021.

2. That a road for negotiation, as agreed at previous consultative meetings between the parties, 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 Labor Relations in conjunction with the NLC is taking steps to discontinue all legal processes against UTAG, UTAG will also take steps to suspend the ongoing strike action;

4. That government acknowledges the need to improve the working conditions of University Teachers and shall treat this will all the seriousness it deserves.

Background

The UTAG, on August 2, 2021, began an industrial action over what it said was the failure of the government to restore the 2012 salary levels of its members.

However, the NLC last Friday secured an interlocutory injunction from an Accra High Court to compel the UTAG to return to work.

The association has remained defiant over the 10-day injunction and last Monday, it said it had filed a counter-motion against the injunction.