Prof. Ransford Yaw Gyampo, Secretary of the University Teachers Association of Ghana, said members of the Association are willing to go to jail to fight their cause.
He stated that they will continue to battle against the country’s “discrimination salary system.”
According to him, UTAG is not interested in going on strike, but the government’s stance is compelling them to do so due to the manner in which government representatives, lead by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta, are handling the situation.
According to Prof. Gyampo, they may be hitting the streets since that is the only language government understands and
they are prepared to endure with their families and with the members of the informal sectors of the economy if they are to be punished.
“If they want to jail the leadership, the members will be on strike on solidarity. If they want to jail all of us, we will go to prison. If they want to withhold our salary because we are fighting a just course, we are fighting to disrupt the salary class situation that has been established by bogus and discriminatory constitutional provision, if they want to punish us for trying to fight that kind of discrimination, we are prepared to endure with our families and with the members of the informal sectors of the economy,” he stated strongly.
Even when the economy is struggling, Ghanaian politicians, according to the Professor, always find methods to improve their working conditions.
“But when it comes to the teacher they say where are we going to find the money from, all of a sudden the source from which they could improve the salaries of the Article 71 office holders, the source from which they could pay illegal ex gracia to MPs, the source from which they could raise loans to buy cars for Members of parliament every four years disappears to them,” he noted angrily.
Prof Gyampo told Israel Laryea on the AM Show on Joy News Channel Friday that their members were asking to be restored to the salary values of 2013.
He stressed that UTAG executives have gone to agree on USD 250 remuneration, adding that this new agreement has not been communicated to the members.
He continued that “So if they go and then agree to the 250 dollars, they will have to communicate it to the UTAG members which am sure, will even be described as a pittance and be rejected.”
He pointed out that if they go on strike, it would mean that school would not reopen for those on holiday., and “if that is the way the authorities want us to go, I mean so be it, we are prepared.”
Members of UTAG have been at odds with the government over their salaries for quite some time. In August, they went on strike, disrupting the examination calendars of the country’s public colleges.
Following repeated requests and petitions to reconsider their decision, they chose to return to the negotiating table, only to come out and announce to the public that the government’s commitment to the negotiations had waned.
Source: Ghanapubliceye.com/Jennifer Owusu