The Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) is expected to be back to academic activities on Monday, June 21, following the decision by the Technical University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (TUTAG) to call off its strike action.
Members of the Association had since Monday, June 14, been on strike to register their protest against what they described as poor conditions of service.
According to the Association, the members had been marginalized for far too long, as they had been denied due recognition, especially in the wake of the upgrading of polytechnics to university status.
Dr. Collins Ameyaw, the KsTU Chapter Chairman of TUTAG, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi, that their decision to call off the strike emanated from a recent stakeholders’ meeting to address the Association’s grievances.
Those involved in the meeting were representatives of TUTAG, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Ministry of Education, National Labour Commission, amongst others.
He said though the TUTAG members had agreed in principle to rescind their decision, they would be discussing the issue in detail at congress, the highest-decision-making body of the Association, to pave the way for the respective Technical Universities to officially resume academic work.
TUTAG is hopeful the pertinent issues culminating in the industrial action would be tackled head-on by the Government, as agreed in the stakeholders’ meeting.
The leadership of the Association in pursuance of the strike had tasked the members not to teach, invigilate, mark examination papers and submit results, and also attend meetings of any of the Technical Universities.
They expressed worry at the cumbersome promotion processes TUTAG members were made to undergo, saying the difficulty in a lecturer at the Technical University being promoted needed a review.
Additionally, the Association had demanded the payment of members’ research arrears, which had been pending since the 2018/19 academic year.
They cited how the ‘Tier-Two’ pension payment for TUTAG members going on retirement, for instance, had still not commenced, despite repeated promises by the government.
They are worried as to how the members are currently made to use a Scheme of Service that is harsh, compared to those existing in analogous institutions, thus slowing down the academic progression of the lecturers.
When the GNA visited the KsTU Campus on Friday, the few students there welcomed the latest development and were hopeful the Campus would come back to life soon.
In an interview, some of them decried how the recent strike had affected academic activities, urging the Government to strive to address on time the lecturers’ concerns.