Striking Universities’ Senior Staff breached rules of engagement – Fair Wages Commission

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    The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has accused the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana of breaching the rules of engagement guiding ongoing negotiations on concerns raised by the association.

    According to the Commission, the association was expected to return to the negotiation table on August 3, 2021, prior to declaring a strike on Monday.

    Speaking on Eyewitness News, the Head of Public Affairs at the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Earl Ankrah, said “to the best of our knowledge there is no problem. These issues that are out there in the public took us by surprise. We were supposed to be at the table negotiating.”

    “We met with the senior staff earlier, and we concluded that they will get back to us on the 3rd of this month. Yes, the whole negotiation process was about certain demands they had. We made certain offers which they did not turn down officially, so we were waiting for feedback from them.”

    “Now that they have embarked on the strike, the law frowns on us negotiating with groups when they are on strike. In any case, before we started the negotiation, we signed some rules of engagement that said while negotiations are in process, the parties involved should not go on strike or threaten one. I think they have breached this clause, something they appended their signatures to. We have not declared a stalemate nor a deadlock.”

    He however said they are looking forward to a resolution to the concerns of the Senior Staff Association and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) at the end of their planned meeting with the National Labour Commission and the Ministry of Employment.

    “We will be present at both meetings, and we hope for the best outcome.”

    The National Labour Commission (NLC) on August 2, 2021, directed both UTAG and the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana, to call off their strike and appear before the Commission on Thursday, August 5, 2021.

    In separate letters to the two unions, the NLC directed them to “stay any or all intended actions for the parties to appear before the Commission.”

    The Executive Secretary of the NLC, Ofosu Asamoah, has urged the two unions to return to the negotiation table.

    According to him, the only outstanding issue for the UTAG members was settling on their research allowance.

    To address the concerns, the Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobby, said a committee will be set up to resolve the current impasse.

    UTAG members are on strike because they want the government to restore their conditions of service agreed upon with the government in 2012.

    The Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana is also on strike because of the government’s failure to address concerns raised about its members’ conditions of service.