The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), has clarified that it has not suspended its strike action as reported by some media houses.
National President Prof. Charles Marfo, speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm clarified that they are to take steps to suspend the strike action.
He was responding to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between UTAG and the government.
Both parties [Government and UTAG] have also resolved to discontinue the legal processes concerning the protracted strike and have given themselves a one-month timeline to settle all outstanding issues.
Following the deliberations, the parties have agreed as follows:
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.
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;
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;
That government acknowledges the need to improve the working conditions of University Teachers and shall treat this will all the seriousness it deserves.
Clarifying the matter, UTAG’s President said the strike is still on course and they have not suspended the strike action.
The decision to suspend the strike action he added would be based on the outcome of the negotiations.
He, therefore, asked the public to disregard reports that they have suspended their strike action.
He told host Kwabena Agyapong that UTAG leadership would have to communicate the current situation with the entire membership and explain to them the MoU.
He added that members would have to by a majority decision agree to the decisions reached before the strike could be suspended.
He said the ongoing legal action against UTAG infuriated members hence the government must take steps to withdraw the case.
Prof. Marfo indicated that it was not proper for the government to negotiate with them when they have sued them over their strike action.
He stressed that the Association is expecting all legal actions against it to be dropped when both parties appear before the Labour Court on Thursday.
Prior to this, the National Labour Commission had secured an injunction against the Association, arguing that the law forbids UTAG from proceeding with the industrial action when negotiations are underway.
Subsequently, the Labour Court of the High Court slapped UTAG with a fine of GH¢3,000 for wasting its time due to its inability to complete processes when the Court convened to hear the injunction case brought before the Association by the National Labour Commission (NLC) on the strike action.