Prof. Ransford Gyampo has served notice that nothing will stop University teachers from closing down universities if their needs are not factored into the 2022 Budget of the country.
Prof Gyampo, who is the Secretary of the University of Ghana Branch of the University Teachers Association (UTAG) noted that the excuse Ghana gave this year was that they did not include the needs of the teachers in the 2021 Budget.
For Prof Gyampo, University teachers will not tolerate that excuse in 2022 and are ready to strike indefinitely until their requests are met, adding that leadership of the teachers is ready to be imprisoned for the improvement of the conditions of service of all University teachers.
1. As you prepare to read the budget for 2022, I respectfully urge you not to do any such presentation without factoring the poor Conditions of Service of University Teachers. One of the abused refrain used in countering our demands this year, has been the mantra that “we did not factor UTAG demands in the 2021 budget”.
2. Now, sir, you have the opportunity to consider and adequately provide for our needs. Kindly be reminded that, we went on strike this year because, we only wanted government to restore us to the salary values of 2013. As you may be aware, in 2013, the entry point monthly salary of a University Lecturer was a pittance hovering around USD 2,084. In 2021, the same lecturer is paid around USD 997. The demand of lecturers this year, has been a simple restoration of the 2013 salary values.
3. It is my plea that you do not go present eloquent figures for all sectors and forget about the main demand of University Teachers. The MoA signed to increase annual research allowance (not monthly salary) to USD 1600, which works out to about only USD 130 a month top up of our research allowance, has been rejected by UTAG members. Please be reminded that research allowances are not salaries. They are monies to undertake research to discover knowledge to aid teaching. Also, no serious researcher discovers anything with USD 130 a month.
Prof Gyampo added that industrial harmony was key to the success of the Government’s budget hence the Finance Minister must be mindful of it.
“…So, sir, by all means, please go ahead and present the budget. But be mindful of the indubitable value of industrial harmony in shaping the success of whatever purpose your budget seeks to achieve,” he added.
University teachers striked earlier this year over conditions of service but had to return to work after Government intervened and following pleas from several quarters of the country.
Read full open letter below: