Gov’t reaches agreement with striking lecturers

research allowance

Government has agreed to pay book and research allowance arrears to university and polytechnic lecturers within one month.

It ends a stand-off that has lasted for over three months, in the case of polytechnic lecturers.

At an emergency meeting called by the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry last Monday, government promised to pay arrears for 2013/2014 academic year in a bid to get lecturers back to the classroom.

Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) members have been on strike since May 15, 2014 over the non-payment of their book and research allowances since 2013.

Members of the University Teachers Association (UTAG) also embarked on a similar action in July, forcing many public universities to delay reopening for this academic year.

The government had earlier maintained it did not owe lecturers the allowance and also announced it was converting that condition of service into a central National Research Fund, which lecturers could access to fund their research.

But lecturers rejected the proposal and refused to negotiate with government on the newly introduced National Research Policy.

In a counter-move, government directed the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to freeze the salaries of the striking polytechnic teachers for the month of August and subsequent months if they continue with their industrial action

UTAG responded with a legal suit to compel government to pay what they believed to be their entitlements.

The recent meeting, was held to solve the impasse.

The two unions will consult their members before accepting government’s offer.

Credit: MyJoyOnline