Secretary of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG-Legon), Prof Ransford Gyampo, has insisted that UTAG’s ongoing strike for better conditions of service despite a court order to end their strike will continue.
And as part of the positive defiance, he invites the government to be their guests with arrest and imprison the lecturers or even sack them.
“We are not ready to call off the strike, they can imprison all of us, they can decide not to pay us again, they can also recruit lectures and sack all of us, we are ready for anything because if we don’t fight for what we deserve to, we might not be able to fight it again,” he said in a radio interview Thursday.
The defiant position comes after the National Labor Commission (NLC) which had earlier secured an injunction against the strike threatened to press contempt charges against the leadership of UTAG.
The NLC on Friday secured an interlocutory injunction from the Labour Court 1 to compel UTAG to call off their strike which started on Monday, August 2.
The directive followed an indication by members of UTAG that they will not return to the lecture halls until the government addresses their concerns relating to their conditions of service
Meanwhile, Prof. Gyampo has accused the government of incompetence due to its inability to achieve closure in negotiations with UTAG over their conditions of service for so many years.
“What kind of condition of service is negotiated in perpetuity”? Today leaders have again been invited to discuss a roadmap for another negotiation; we have been toyed with for long . . . it seems they’re taking advantage of us but that can’t continue . . . we’ve been talking about conditions of service since 2012″.
According to him, an independent negotiator would be a better idea than continuous negotiation with the government whose representatives he says have only been incompetent.
“I think there’s a way out in my view [but] some of us have called for an independent third party to intervene because as far as I’m concerned those who have negotiated on government’s behalf have been abysmal and demonstrated much incompetence.”