UTAG Strike: Accept government’s terms; students must not suffer’- Akosua Manu

A member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) national communication team, Akosua Manu, says the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) should accept the government

She said it is unright for students to be at the receiving end of their grievances stressing that it has resulted in affecting the academic calendar.

She maintained that even though expression of grievances dates back into former administrations, it is necessary to place demands when promises are not forthcoming or agreements have been breached.

Akosua Manu said this with the issue of the strike action by the Universities and Teachers Association (UTAG) who aborted their duties in the lecture room due to unfulfilled promises.

The National Labour Commission has however secured a court injunction against the strike action calling on lecturers to return back to the classroom.

Lamenting over the issue on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, Akosua Manu mentioned that UTAG should accept the government’s offer on the negotiating table.

“I’m saying that if somebody is agitating on a specific issue and for me what they are asking honestly and truly I think that they very well deserve it but government is saying that, we can offer a thousand dollars and that is not bad for a start if you’re coming from zero. You want two thousand dollars but am meeting you halfway. Let’s do a thousand and probably beyond the thousand, we can go beyond that,” she stated.

Ms. Manu, however, dissuaded the actions of lectures saying it must not be at the expense of academic work as it has adversely affected the school’s timetable and the projections of students on the whole.

“But I agree with people who say ‘do not punish the children unduly’ and it’s even unfair to say ‘we are using the children as a bargaining chip’. That is where I have issues with because we have seen agitations drawback the calendar year where people have graduated months after whatever provision has been made. Sometimes people have already applied to schools outside, planned their lives and what naught and these agitations only serve to slow down progress,” she stressed.

The NPP communicator further disclaimed that the issues raised in the UTAG strike agitations were issues that prevailed in previous administrations citing issues that have still not been resolved to date.

“I do not determine what people do and say when they are going to demonstrate. Am saying that when ‘fix it’ and this is specific. ‘Fix the country’ when they went on demonstration, it was clear the message they were sending. In fact, some of the placards went way back into unprovoked corruption. A case in point ‘Woyome’ which is still a process where we haven’t even retrieved the monies completely,” she emphasized.

“UTAG some of the demands being asked you know sometimes we need to ask which countries they are comparing their selves to. Once you see where the comparison is coming from it helps you to understand better. But then if an agreement was made and was supposed to come into effect in 2012 and it hasn’t till date, I think that yes, its meet and right to give those considerations,” she added.


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