Accra, Jan. 13, GNA - The Teachers and Educational Workers' Union (TEWU) in all the public universities across the country have laid down their tools due to delays in finalizing their conditions of service.
Mr Mark Dankyira Korankye, the General Secretary of TEWU who announced the indefinite strike, said security officials, hospital staff, and payroll officers, who were undertaking essential services are however exempted.
TEWU in 2020 signed a new Conditions of Service with the Ghana Education Service to revise the document, including promotions, leave allowances, working hours and other related issues aimed at enhancing the welfare of its members.
The document was to help prevent situations where any different directive would be used arbitrarily by various directors or heads of institutions in deciding what is due to members of the Union.
Mr Korankye said the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission had failed to conclude negotiations with the Union, following the Union’s engagement with the Commission in June 2019 on the review of the Conditions of Service for Unionized Staff of the Public Universities which expired in 2008.
"TEWU’s Conditions of Service has expired since 2008, but could not be reviewed because of the implementation of the policy on the migration of all government employees unto the Single Spine Salary Pay Structure", he said.
He stressed that it was regrettable that for close to two years, the Commission had not been able to finalize issues with TEWU on the Condition of Service, while its members continue to work under very difficult situation.
The TEWU General Secretary said the Union was of the view that the failure of the Commission to conclude negotiations on the Conditions of Service was unfair and in bad faith, stressing that until the negotiations were finalized, they would not return to work.
He said the Union is demanding the 18 per cent of the non-academic basic allowance for the unionized staff of the public Universities before they continue with the January 2021 academic activities which come with added responsibility due to the intake of the first batch of graduates of the Free Senior High School.
Mr Korankye said effective and efficient teaching and learning in the Universities rests on both the management, lecturers, and the junior staff including the cleaners and the security personnel, and as such, they deserve what was due them without discrimination.
Mr Ambrose Yao Kwadwodza, the National Chairman, TEWU revealed that negotiations on the Conditions of Service for the public Universities, have come very far, and they were left with sorting out issues like non-basic allowance, exposure to eminent hazards allowance and promotions.
He said workers like the cleaners, security officers, and other labourers work under high-risk situations and deserved risk allowance.
"We will work assiduously to ensure that what is due every worker is given because the consistent discrimination against TEWU members was unbearable," he said.
Mr Ken Botchway, Local Chairman of TEWU, University of Ghana, said it was time for the authorities to end the discrimination on the junior staff of public universities because they contributed significantly in running the institutions.