The senior staff of public universities in the country has joined the pre-tertiary teachers’ unions in their demand for the payment of the 20 per cent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) by the government.
Declaring a strike action today, the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana ordered its members to “go home.”
Addressing the media at the main entrance of the University of Ghana, the Association demanded of the government to pay their accrued interest on tier two pension arrears from 2016 to 2021.
The members are also worried about what they describe as university salary disparities.
The decision by the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana brings to five the number of unions so far on strike over COLA.
National Chairman of the Association, Isaac Donkoh urged their members to withdraw their services until they get positive feedback from the government.
“Today, the Senior Staff of Public Universities will address you. I want to make this clear to all our workers. With this particular strike, we will not exempt any staff. Teaching staff, you are going home. Principal staff, you are going home. Drivers, you are going home,” he said.
“Yesterday they threatened to freeze our salaries [if we embark on strike] and we will tell them we are capable [of declaring the strike]. We have said if we do not hear anything positive from them, we will lay down our tools. We are demanding 20 percent COLA and nothing else,” he added.
Various groups including the Union of Professional Nurse and Midwives have also joined calls by some public sector workers for the government to pay them the 20% allowance.
The Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) have laid down their tools over the failure of government to pay the 20 per cent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
Regarding this development, representatives of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) walked out of the negotiation with the government over their demand for COLA.
The two associations have accused government of betrayal of trust for asking them to call off their strike before negotiations.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri