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General News of Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Source: GNA

UTAG has not mandated any third party to negotiate its salaries

Accra, June 21, GNA - The National Executive Committee (NEC) of University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), on Tuesday said it had not mandated any third party to negotiate its salaries and conditions of service with the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC).

It said as much as UTAG had no objection to being migrated onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), not until all issues and concerns raised had been exhaustively discussed and satisfactorily addressed, UTAG would not allow themselves to be hurriedly migrated onto the spine. The NEC also accused FWSC of refusing to respond to their letters, to furnish them with their job re-evaluation report, and unfulfilled promises useful for UTAG's migration onto the SSSS. Dr Samuel Kwesi Asiedu-Addo, National President of UTAG, announced this at a press conference in Accra, to clarify what it termed 93lack of seriousness and commitment" on the part of FWSC towards migrating academic members of Ghana's public universities onto the SSSS.

He said NEC acknowledged and appreciated government's efforts being made to improve service conditions of the academic staff of public universities.

Dr Asiedu-Addo said UTAG would like to express their displeasure with what appeared to be the FWSC's deliberate attempt to stifle government's efforts with particular reference to the migration of the academic Senior Members on to the SSSS. He said since its establishment, the FWSC, as part of its functions, replaced the standing Joint Negotiating Committee as the body with which UTAG negotiated its salaries and service of conditions, yet the FWSC had so far refused to create the platform and the opportunity for such negotiations.

Dr Asiedu-Addo said 93Since 2009, UTAG has written several letters to the FWSC on salary negotiations and on the upward adjustment of the Book and Research Allowances of Senior Members. However, the Commission has consistently failed to respond to these letters. UTAG considers this as an affront and blatant display of disrespect to its members.

"In 2010, UTAG called for a job re-evaluation in order to properly determine the levels of Academic Senior Members on the SSSS. The commission carried out the re-evaluation exercise from April 15-16, 2010. However, it has refused to furnish UTAG with the completed re-evaluation report, in spite of several requests made by UTAG. "We wish to emphasise that the report is necessary for study by UTAG prior to any discussion and negotiation with the FWSC". Dr Asiedu-Addo said the continual delay on the part of FWSC to open negotiations towards the migration was, in the opinion of the UTAG, a clear attestation to the existence of problems and difficulties associated with the migration, which needed to be carefully addressed by both parties. Dr Eric M. Wilmot, President, University of Cape Coast Branch of UTAG, said the Commission promised them that by July 2011, they would be migrated to the SSSS but ever since the Commission remained silence.

"The silence is too much for us and we are calling for someone to talk to us," he said.

Dr Kodzo Gavua, President, University of Ghana Branch of UTAG, said the FWSC was not fair to them because they raised a lot of questions that needed to be addressed and called on the FWSC to invite them for fair and open discussion on the issue. 21 June 11