Academic work at the technical universities were disrupted yesterday when members of the Technical University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (TUTAG) embarked on a sit-down strike to press home their demand for improved conditions of service.
The fate of academic work now hinges on a meeting in Accra today between TUTAG and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to discuss the conditions of service of TUTAG members.
Apart from the Accra Technical University (ATU), where officials said lectures were ongoing, the rest of the institutions across the country were hit by the action.
Checks from the university indicated that lectures were ongoing, and members of TUTAG were still attending to students and going about their regular duties, writes Felicia Kwarteng.
The Public Relations Officer of ATU, Mrs Foster Killian Ganaa-Kodua, told the Daily Graphic that the school had not received any official letter from TUTAG about the strike.
Efforts to reach the local TUTAG Chairman proved futile, but he sent a message to the media through the PRO that he was not ready to make a comment on the strike because TUTAG members at ATU were not on strike.
Empty lecture halls
Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor reports that most of the lecture halls at the Kumasi Technical University (KTU) were empty.
Some students were seen in front of their halls of residence chatting among themselves, while others remained stationed in the alleys doing private learning.
Some of the students, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, were of the view that the strike could affect their academic calendar, if not resolved on time.
The lecture theaters of the Takoradi Technical University were without the usual busy atmosphere, reports Augustina D. Dzodzegbe.
Some of the students contended that the strike had come at the wrong time because final year students had a short time left to submit their project works.
A final year student, Ms Matilda D. Eshun, said the situation was frustrating since some of the lecturers, who were their supervisors, could not be found.
Vincent Amenuveve reports that some students of the Bolgatanga Technical University (BTU) appealed to government and TUTAG to go back to the negotiation table in order to reach a compromise.
They observed that should the strike fester, it would ultimately affect the academic calendar after the disruption caused by COVID-19 related interventions.
When contacted, the BTU Chapter Chairman of TUTAG, Mr Oswald Atiga, explained that the strike had become an option because of government’s failure to address their conditions of service.
At the Tamale Technical University (TaTU), some students loitered around the campus in the absence of lectures, writes Samuel Duodu.
Some of the students told the Daily Graphic that the strike was most unfortunate, saying they had only reopened about three weeks ago.
The TUTAG President, Dr Michael A. Brigandi, who is also a senior lecturer at TaTU, said the leadership of the association was in a meeting with the government in Accra to resolve the issue.
He said the National Labour Commission had also called for a meeting on June 26, 2021, to resolve the issue, and had, therefore, asked TUTAG to call off the strike.
He, however, stressed that until they saw something practical from the government, TUTAG would not call off the strike.
Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah reports that the president of the Sunyani Technical University chapter of TUTAG, Dr Samuel Yeboah Asuamah, told the Daily Graphic that the government was not serious about technical education.
He explained that no member of the association, including non-teaching workers of the university, would be allowed to teach or carry out any responsibility, stressing also that until the government provided them with good conditions of service, they would not resume work.
Edith Mensah reports that students at the Cape Coast Technical University (CCTU) have appealed to parties in the impasse to expedite action on a resolution for lectures to resume.
On campus yesterday, students sat in groups in apparent self studies in the absence of lectures, with some students saying the strike took them by surprise.