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UTAG signals strike, gives gov’t ultimatum

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), has given government up to the 31st of July to pay them their outstanding Book and Research Allowances, or they will embark on an industrial action.

The warning, which was conveyed at a press conference at the University of Cape Coast, was preceded by an emergency meeting of the national executive committee of UTAG in the early hours of today.

Addressing the press, the UTAG President, Dr. Eric Opoku, said the group “has observed with dismay the inability of the government to pay the 2017/2018 academic year Book and Research Allowances to its members as of today, July 25”.

He said the government has been lackadaisical towards the payment of the allowance despite UTAG’s letter to the Finance Minister and the Education Minister on July 7, to effect payment by July 16 to forestall any industrial action by members.

The group says their plea to government “has gone unheeded and the Ministry of Finance has refused to formally respond to (their) letter”, indicating that government’s inactivity has been “condescending over the years” regarding the payment of the allowance.

Dr. Opoku was alarmed that the situation among university lecturers at the various university is getting out of hand since leaders of the teacher union can no more restrain their members in the universities.

“As leaders, we have so far been able to manage the uneasy tension on our various campuses, however, the situation is getting out of control and we may be forced to take a decision”, he said.

The 2018/2019 academic year commences from August 1, but leaders of UTAG have signaled they cannot predict how the academic year will pan out if by that time the demands of the university teachers are not met.

“UTAG, therefore wishes to inform and plead with the public and our students that should the next academic year’s calendar be disrupted, it is not to blame. UTAG would like to use this opportunity to serve notice to all Vice Chancellors of the public universities in Ghana about our concerns and take note accordingly”, the UTAG President warned.

Source: Citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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