National Labour Commission directs UTAG to call off strike

Accra, Jan. 14, GNA – The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to call off its industrial action and resume work.

The NLC, in a press release issued by Mr Ofosu Asamoah, its Executive Secretary, said the Association should submit “formally” the other issues it said were in dispute to the employer for redress for the parties to negotiate and report back to the Commission after a month, that is February 16, 2022.

The Commission issued the directive after hearing the disputing parties on Thursday, January 13, 2022, in the matter of the strike by members of UTAG, which commenced on Monday, January 10, 2022.
The parties are the Government, represented by Minister of Employment and Labour Relation and his Deputy, Deputy Minister of Finance, the Chief Executive of Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the Director-General of Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, and UTAG, represented by its President and some executives.

The NLC in its findings, said the strike by UTAG was illegal as it did not follow due process prescribed by Sub Part II of the Act 651 on the Settlement of industrial disputes, specifically, section 159 on notice of strike.

It stated that the issue over, which UTAG embarked upon the strike had been settled, thus submission of the report on the Labour Market Survey.

“That UTAG may have other issues, but those had not yet been formally presented to the employer for redress,” the Commission added.

Prior to the hearing, Government, the complainant employer, had submitted that UTAG did not follow due process before instituting the industrial action and prayed the Commission to declare the strike illegal.

The complainant further stated that the issue over, which UTAG had embarked on strike had been resolved, thus, FWSC should furnish them with a copy of the Report of the Labour Market Survey (LMS).

They added that the FWSC presented the report to UTAG on January 6, 2022, with the understanding by the parties that UTAG would study and submit its feedback.

The respondent, UTAG, argued it was not entirely true that there were no outstanding issues, because there were other pending issues apart from the LMS Report, which had not been resolved.

UTAG, in a communique, had announced the withdrawal of members’ services across the country effective Monday, January 10, 2022.
It said the strike was due to Government’s failure to address “worsening” conditions of service of lecturers.

The NLC on Thursday, January 13, invited the Association and Government for a meeting over the issue.