“Lecturers deserve a better salary structure” – Professor Gyampo on the planned UG UTAG strike
The Secretary of the University of Ghana Chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UG UTAG), Prof. Ransford Gyampo stressed that until their conditions of service are improved, they will not hesitate to withdraw their services.
He says that if the salaries of university professors are not increased, the UG chapter of UTAG will embark on an indefinite strike from Monday, January 10, 2022.
speaking on First morning on Thursday, the academic recalled that the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of UTAG to accept the proposed payment of $1,600 had met with opposition from some members of the Association; hence, a reason for their industrial action.
“It’s only because our salaries are not listed anywhere, the conditions of service are poor, the negotiations didn’t yield much, deadlines and agreements reached weren’t met. People are frustrated and it’s come to this point where I don’t think persuasion or sugarcoated words would get people to reverse their decision,” he told Benjamin Akakpo.
Professor Gyampo questioned the 7% wage increase for public sector workers, adding that if there is no fairness in the wage structure of workers, there can be no harmony social.
He called for an overhaul of the constitution to ensure that Ghanaians benefit from better payment modules. The political science professor argued that it would be inappropriate for anyone to say that the 70% salary increase for Section 71 office holders is a constitutional matter.
“I think we generally have to, as a nation, talk about equity in our pay structure. Without equity in our salary structure, we cannot have industrial harmony and without industrial harmony, governance cannot be achieved in the country.
“You can’t give the owners 7% of the money and give the caretakers 70% and when we talk about that someone says it’s a constitutional issue. Is the constitution a Bible? The constitution is not a Bible and as a thinking society we have the right to challenge the constitutional content.
“This is why the 1992 Constitution was revised; it is not a Bible. Politicians cannot hide behind these discriminatory provisions and ask us to tighten our belts while they eat, their bellies will bloom and they will loosen their belts,” Professor Gyampo retorted.
The national leadership of UTAG is expected to issue a statement on a possible strike this week.
Earlier, some chapters wanted NEC to withdraw its statement which purported to suggest that an agreement had been reached by UTAG members to accept the research grant and a proposal contained in the memorandum of understanding signed between the government and the UTAG NEC.
Among other things, the proposal was to complete a labor market survey report to determine the interim market premium review by December 2021 for implementation in 2022.
Professor Ransford Gyampo said their fight for what is rightfully theirs should not be interpreted as a plot against the government.
“Let it be known that this is not something against anyone, we are not anti-government and we are not pro-opposition. What we are asking for is a better condition of service.
“I think the teachers have been calm, they’ve been patient, they’ve been quiet for far too long. If you push a human against a wall, they don’t go through the wall, they bounce off you.