STRIKE UPDATE: GHANA NATIONAL UNION OF TECHNICAL STUDENTS RESPONDS TO THE TUTAG STRIK
GNUTS CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT TO DO THE NEEDFUL
GNUTS have also raised their concern on the current TUTAG strike, and according to them in a press release they said:
” GNUTS CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT TO DO THE NEEDFUL.
Technical University students across the country a few days ago received an ignominious announcement about a strike action by the Technical University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (TUTAG) due to a number of reasons, but primarily the blatant failure of government through the ministry of Finance to comply with the ruling of the National Labor Commission with respect to the conditions of service of TUTAG.
It is worthy of notice that this is not the first time TUTAG has embarked on a sit-down strike over similar or the same circumstances, and we believe the ordinary students have been the worst sufferers of the strike action, with this recent one not an exception.
Academic activities are in session for most of the technical universities and have just begun a new academic year. Other technical universities have also scheduled re-sit examinations and congregations within the period from now to the end of the year. All these activities will be at a standstill while the academic calendar will be heavily distorted if the strike action is not called off as soon as possible.
Students who will have to write a re-sit before graduating will have to forfeit their dream of graduating this year because lecturers are not available to coordinate, supervise, and mark re-sit exams. Part-time students and even regular students who are on a fixed-term study leave will have to forfeit their jobs if care is not taken because the academic calendar will have to be shifted, which will affect the scheduled time for students to complete their course.
All these and many others are the negative consequences of this strike action by TUTAG, which is definitely a cause for worry for us as student leaders, and the more reason why we wish to express our audacious displeasure about the ministry of Finance and government’s blatant disregard of the NLC’s ruling. We believe in negotiations and compromise, and government and the ministry of Finance should have therefore engaged TUTAG in the event of any changes or emergencies to the earlier resolution.
Government’s wanton posture of refusing to fulfill its part of the obligation and abide by the NLC’s ruling is highly detrimental to students of technical universities, and one can only insinuate that government lacks interest in the development of technical education in Ghana; meanwhile, it is a fact that technical education is the perfect foundation for the industrialization agenda of government, this makes government’s claim of moving Ghana to a production-driven country a façade.
We admonish the current economic hardships in the country and globally, which have compelled Ghana to seek an IMF bailout; we will therefore urge TUTAG to consider students and soften its stands to help resolve the issues amicably and to return to the lecture hall.
We wish to call on the government, the ministry of finance, the ministry of education, the National Labor Commission, and relevant stakeholders to resolve all issues with TUTAG as soon as possible to ensure TUTAG returns to the lecture halls as students are the worst sufferers of this strike action.
GNUTS is aware of the current strike action by UTAG and the recent one by GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT all in the educational sector. Although students affected by their action are not under our structures, we believe the problem of one student is the problem of all students and will admonish government to resolve all issues with all labor unions within the educational sector.
We also admonish all student leaders to come together and advocate for the government to resolve all issues with the labor unions within the educational sector as a matter of urgency.
We urge students of technical universities to remain calm and study on their own as we engage various stakeholders to ensure our lecturers return to the lecture halls. We will continue engagements and advocacy to ensure right things are done.