Members of the Senior Staff Association of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, have been caught in a grimy game to get the attention of government to satisfy their demands over what they know sincerely that they do not deserve.
At the time Public Universities are closed because of the dreaded, COVID- 19, they say they will lay down their tools effective from today.
In what appears extremely comical, they say that they are withdrawing their services at the time they are virtually not doing any work because of the closure of the universities.
This decision, according to the association, is due to “government’s insensitivity” to the plight of its members.
Speaking during a press briefing in Accra on Friday October 16, the national chairman of the association, Abdul-Majeed Yussif, said all efforts to draw the government’s attention to their issues have proved futile.
“We have tried on several occasions to draw the government’s attention through appropriate agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, National Council for Tertiary Education, to unfavourable policies responsible for the deteriorating conditions of service of senior staff.
“These include study leave with pay, appointments, and promotions, medical care for staff and their dependents,” he said.
Mr. Yussif said members would hoist red flags to express their displeasure and press home their demand.
The action could count among one of the irrational strikes because the Senior Staff Associations of various public universities have been told and are aware that the policy and white paper on “interim market premium” makes it the sole prerogative of the employer to determine who should be paid.
Since inception it has been for SENIOR MEMBERS only on the universities.
Obviously, the simple logic then was that it is more difficult to find, recruit and retain a PhD-qualified (or masters-qualified with professional qualification) than the qualifications required to be a “senior staff” in the universities.
Within the University of Ghana Community, there are murmurings that the Senior Staff Association members are fully aware that they are not qualified for what they are demanding for.
In the estimation of those raising legitimate questions, the association is using blackmail and subterfuge to demand what they know they are not qualified for,
Again, majority of the members of the Senior Staff Association, if not all, are members of Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and ought to know that the issues they are raising are exactly the same that are the subject of negotiations between TEWU and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).
Flawless source within the University of Ghana Senior Staff Association has it that there is sharp division among the members because some of them feel that there is the ugly political game going on with the decision to go on strike.
The source has it that the decision was unpopular as it was virtually forced on members and that the press conference to announce it was hurriedly and improperly arranged, as most members were against it.
According to the source, after the declaration of the strike, the UG Senior Staff tried to convince their colleagues in other public universities to embark on similar action but could not get their attention.