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UTAG to government: Keep your pledges to lecturers in order to avoid brain drain.

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To prevent brain drain in Ghana’s education sector, the government has been asked to keep pledges made to teachers.

On Friday, October 1, 2021, Professor Solomon Nunoo, the newly-elected National President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), gave this advice.

Prof. Nunoo stated this in a Citi News interview following the swearing-in of the new UTAG leadership at the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa at the UTAG National Congress.

“Currently, UTAG has been negotiating with the government about service conditions for quite some time. We actually made requests on around four items at the end of the strike, when we ceased all activity. Essentially, we discussed the market premium, non-basic allowance, and research allowance, and requested the government to investigate all available options for improving the number of university professors. We have repeatedly stated that many of our young people are leaving the fold and joining the exodus train, and we believe the government must pay attention to what we have said.”

The UTAG National President also encouraged the government to make sure that negotiating deadlines are met in order to prevent young lecturers from traveling abroad.

“The basic salary is also on hold. The government has often stated that they intend to hold a consultation meeting with all labour unions in April 2022, but we want to see genuine action. We’re not convinced, and we don’t believe the government when it claims to be able to conduct the Labour Market Survey. That is the source of our deep concern. Even though the government has stated that the Labour Market Survey will be completed by the end of this month, October 31, 2021, we are convinced that the procedure has not even begun. The Ghana Statistical Service is generally in charge of these things, and they are now working on the population and housing census, so we are concerned the government would not be able to honour it again on December 31.”

“At this point, we’re urging that the government stick to the statements they’ve made in both the MoUs they’ve signed with us and at the bargaining table. That, we believe, is the only way we will be able to keep our members on board. The labor market survey would assist UTAG members in improving their well-being, he noted.

Prof. Anthony Simons, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UMaT, presented during the 20th UTAG Biennial National Delegate Conference at UMaT on the Challenges of the Single Spine Salary Structure: The University Professor’s Case

Prof. Simons, while proposing a better Single Spine Salary Structure for a motivated University lecturer, stated that the existing status of university teacher salaries is unsatisfactory and demands immediate correction.

“The current salary discrepancy between Articles 71 and 190 officeholders is excessive, and measures must be made to minimize the gap, as indicated in the Presidential Committee on Emoluments Report by Prof. Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu. To protect the SSSS’s health, the Employer should consider removing University Professors as soon as possible, or the government should complete the LMS as soon as possible and compensate university teachers appropriately to assist attract and retain qualified staff,” he said.

Professor Simons urged UTAG to stay proactive and steadfast at the bargaining table.

“At all times, remember to keep the general membership’s predicament in mind when speaking with the Employer. But, as a word of caution, when success arrives, don’t fall asleep like you did in the past,” he warned.

Dr. Akyene Tetteh was elected Treasurer, Dr. Asante Annor was elected Secretary, Dr. Eric Wiah was elected Vice President, and Prof. Solomon Nunoo was elected National UTAG President at the national congress in Tarkwa. They will work for 15 universities for the next two years.

Source: Citi News

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