MoE Says UTAG Must Call Off Strike Before Negotiation

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has stated it has not begun negotiations with the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) on their demands due to the requirement of the law, rather, they are into engagements.

According to the ministry, the series of meetings they have been having within the week was not to negotiate on the demands of the striking university lecturers, but aimed at convincing the embattled teachers to get back to the classroom.

“By engagement, whether behind the scene or official engagement, none of them has been about negotiation. (Yesterday)’s meeting and that of last Tuesday’s has nothing to do with negotiation. It was about how parties could build consensus to call off the strike then we go ahead with negotiation to address the specific issues”, the MoE said.

Per labour law, the Ministry through its Public Relations Officer, Kwasi Kwarteng, explained that workers must return to work before any negotiation begins. However, he noted that the government side in the impasse is still committed to engaging the UTAG to call off its strike and subsequently resolve the issue.

“Even though we are bent on getting our professors back to the classroom, it must be conducted within the framework of the law as anticipated… Labour laws make it clear that you are unable to negotiate when parties are on strike”, Kwasi Kwarteng told the host of Eyewitness News on Citi FM.

He revealed that the Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, at yesterday’s meeting with the UTAG, appealed to the latter to call off the strike and gave assurances for negotiation later.

“UTAG has been forthcoming, they’ve been very collaborative and committed”, he added.

Source: Fuseini

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