Students cry over negative impact of UTAG strike

University students in Ghana are wailing over the strike action by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) after they said they paid exorbitant tuition and hostel fees.

A press release signed by Kofi Geogr Abuah, Convener of the Coalition of Concerned University Teachers said on Wednesday January 19 that “We want to tell government that University students are suffering!! Medical students are suffering, business administration students are suffering, nursing students are suffering, international students are suffering, computer science students are suffering, engineering students are suffering, Agricultural students are suffering, student entrepreneurs are suffering and even psychology students are SUFFERING!!!

“It’s unfair to us, university students to pay exorbitant tuition and hostel fees at this early stage of the academic calendar just to see our lecturers embark on such an indefinite industrial strike. Already, COVID-19 has been an albatross on our neck and disrupted our learning and academic procedures.

“Furthermore, issues of our student loans , accommodation and scholarships is hanging in the air, just for us to commence this academic year with such pain. We want to inspire our fellow university students both home and abroad to speak up across the country.”

Meanwhile members of UTAG have resolved not to call off their strike despite the National Labour Commission (NLC) ruling that their action was illegal.

“Members resolved that they wont call off strike until their demands have been met,” a statement issued after an emergency meeting by UTAG on Monday January 17 said among other things.

The NLC had ruled that the strike by the Universities Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and  Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) is illegal.

This was after a meeting with the labour unions and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations was held on Thursday January 13.

After the meeting, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireku Brobbey told journalists that the goverment is expecting that the unions to do the needful.

“In the sprit of transparency and very mutual respect for them , they have assured them that whatever allowance is due them because they were captured in the 2022 budget January they are going to be paid . Therefore the Commission has directed that they go and call off the strike immediately.

“This is something that is good for Ghana expecting that schools had just reopened , parents had just seen of their wards to the various institution. I am glad that CETAG has also be asked so let us expect that they do the needful and then we have peace.”

He added ” The National Labour Commission is a state institution. Indeed of labour institution are litigating there must be somebody to arbitrate . This is the legally mandated institution, they have heard us and they have issued their directive . It is my expectation that UTAG will also call off their striker.”

UTAG also embarked on their action Monday January 10.

Source: 3news

Ray Charles Marfo

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