As earlier promised, members of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) have started their strike to back demands for better conditions of service from the government.
This morning members who are staff of the University of Ghana-Legon abandoned work and gathered at the main entrance of the University and chanted war songs.
The demonstration was led by the General Secretary of TEWU, Mark Korankye who made it clear that unless an 18% non-basic salary allowance that they are demanding is paid, the TEWU members are not going to work.
The allowance was decided upon by the government in lieu of the fact that the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) program, is going to flood universities with more students to teach.
However, according to TEWU, while the government has allocated the allowance to members of other tertiary staff associations and Unions, including the University Teachers Association, members of TEWU have been excluded.
Mr. Mark Korankye said their exclusion from the enjoyment of the allowance is deliberate discrimination by the government.
“The 18% they have refused to pay, we will collect it before we return to work,” Mr. Korankye vowed.
The strike which started nationwide today led to similar demonstrations at the University of Cape Coast by the UCC chapter of TEWU. Charles Williams, the UCC Chapter Secretary who led the demonstration also bemoaned what he said was “de facto segregation,” by the government against TEWU members even in respect of market premium payments.
Earlier on Tuesday, the KNUST TEWU had announced the intent to strike on Wednesday. They accused the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission of deliberate snub of their grievances.
However, the FWSC has said that it has been working on the grievances and is on the verge of securing clearance with the Ministry of Finance to undertake the necessary payments.
Earl Ankrah, Director of Public Affairs at the FWSC also reveals 23 out of 25 grievances that had been tabled before it has been sorted out with TEWU.
“There were 25 items on the table, we have concluded negotiations on 22 items with two outstanding. Indeed Government recommended that we sign off on the 23 and the outstanding two will be dealt with later and the leadership of TEWU refused that. So the task is to come out scenarios for the two outstanding ones for the consideration of the Ministry of Finance…and indeed with the collaboration of TEWU we have done that.”