UTAG swears in new executives

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has sworn in new executives to steer the affairs of the group for the next two years.

Associate Professor Solomon Nunoo, is the President, Dr Eric Wiah, Vice President, Dr Asare Asante-Annor, Secretary and Dr Akyene Tetteh, treasurer.

The ceremony was performed at the 20th biennial delegates conference of the Association held at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa in the Western Region.

It was on the theme: “Post COVID-19 tertiary education in Ghana- the role of government and preparedness of public universities in promoting quality education.”

Prof. Nunoo, in his acceptance speech, said he joined the National Executive Committee of UTAG as the National Secretary 10 years ago, and at the time, it was at the crossroad.

He said while a section of the members wanted enrolment onto the Single Spine Salary Structure, others were apprehensive about the policy.

Prof. Nunoo said, “Today, we are on the ‘spine’ with its attendant challenges. The challenges have resulted in our engagement with our employer with the quest to improve on the Conditions of Service for UTAG members.”

“Regrettably, the engagement has not yielded the expected results that we were all anticipating at the start of the engagements, thus, resulting in the strike action of August 2021,” he added.

Prof. Nunoo said, “Having failed to conclude the negotiations within the one-month window after the suspension of the strike action on 23rd August 2021, we find ourselves at the crossroad again. I must say, that each group has cogent arguments as to which direction to go.”

The current national executives, Prof. Nunoo believed, had an unenviable task to steer the affairs of UTAG through this period.

He said the previous NEC, led by Prof. Marfo, had made some gains and that it was up to them to continue to build on the foundations they had laid, adding that negotiation of Non-Payroll Allowances with the Governing Councils of the various public universities was also pending.

Presently, the dream of building a National Secretariat of UTAG, which had been on the drawing board for the past 12 years, is still pending, UTAG president said.

Calling for unity, Prof. Nunoo said: “It is my prayer that together with my colleagues, National Officers and NEC members, we will work hard to serve the interest of all UTAG members across the length and breadth of Ghana for posterity to judge us fairly.

“This is the time for unity with one mindset. We need to stay focused on our ultimate goal of improving the working conditions of our members, this calls for us to provide the needed leadership to attain the goal.

He called on the Government to respect the various agreements signed with labour and that the present negotiations on the conditions of service must end.

“We are in October 2021, and payment of the Book and Research Allowances (BRA) are still pending. The question across the campus is where is the BRA,” he said.

Prof Nunoo reiterated, “To maintain industrial harmony,  the government should urgently pay the  BRA and quickly attend to all the pending issues for some peace to  prevail.”

Prof Charles Ofosu Marfo, the immediate past National President of UTAG, urged members to help the executives to achieve their mandate because the task ahead would not be easy.

Source: GNA

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