Student activism groups across university campuses in Ghana that have formed a Coalition of Concerned University Students (CoCUS), have hinted at plans to stage a protest to register their displeasure with the governmentâ€™s failure to end the protracted strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
The coalition announced this in a statement issued on Sunday, 30 January 2022 signed by its conveners and leaders.
â€œConsequently, in relation to the ongoing UTAG strike and stalemate of negotiations, the Coalition is preparing for a peaceful and intellectual protest against the governmentâ€™s inability to bring a harmonised resolution to the matter,â€ the statement said.
The Coalition noted that it will submit a petition to the presidency and the parliament â€œfor urgent consideration of the government and subsequent execution,â€ during the protest.
Although it noted that the date for the planned protest will be communicated soon, it urged all students, parents and stakeholders in education to join the protest.
Meanwhile, UTAG has served notice that as an association, it remains resolute in its decision to strike over its membersâ€™ conditions of service until the government does the needful.
â€œWeâ€™re calling on the government to do the needful by bringing some offers on the table for consideration,â€ the National Secretary of UTAG, Dr Asante Asare Annoh said.
He made this demand in an interview with Kwame Obeng Sarkodie, host of Accra100.5FMâ€™s morning show Ghana Yensom on Monday, January 31, 2022.
According to him, UTAG has been considerate in helping the students, particularly the first-year students, to go through the processes for registration.
He was of the view that the MoU signed with the government on the conditions of service for UTAG members elapsed last year.
He revealed that when the leadership of the union met the sector minister on January 20, he indicated that he was only a minister and that he was going to table the grievances of UTAG before the appropriate bodies in government.
He added that lecturers are impoverished, hence the insistence of the union on the government to make an interim payment of 115 per cent of their current rate.
â€œIt is not a situation of the association asking for salary increase but what has been long overdue,â€ he said.
He noted: â€œIt is problematic to hear the National Labour Commission going to court over the strike when it is supposed to be making offers for consideration.â€