The University Teachers Association of Ghana UTAG is up in arms against Dr. Tony Aidoo, Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidency, over some comments he made recently about their strike action.
Dr. Tony Aidoo had asserted that the strike by UTAG was illegal and pointless particularly when most allowances received by UTAG members were not taxed.
He had also blasted the lecturers for striking over a ‘mere’ of 26 dollar differential in the money they recieve.
A former Secretary of the Legon Branch of UTAG and a past Member of the National Executive Committee, Professor Oduro Owusu, in an interview with Citi News said Dr. Tony Aidoo’s comments were unfounded and irresponsible.
“You would expect people in Government position to rather try andcalm down situation when tempers are boiling. You wouldn’t expect people in responsible position to come and pour fuel into already burning fire. If you don’t know, you seek and you shall find. University Lecturers do pay taxes on every little allowance that we claim.
“We even pay taxes on invigilation allowance and I am surprised that this thing is taking a very terrible turn whilst you can just walk into our finance offices and edit our books. We pay taxes on everything so I don’t know where Dr. Tony Aidoo is coming from and what kind of intentions he has. We peg our salaries at a certain level and that’s in Dollars because we wanted to hedge our salaries against depreciation.”
Ahead of a UTAG National Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday October 20, to vote on whether to suspend their two weeks old strike or otherwise, the University of Ghana branch of UTAG is reported to have voted to call off its strike after a meeting on Monday October 18.
However Professor Oduro says the decision by the Legon Branch of UTAG to call off its strike as reported is not binding at the national level. He said individual decisions from all local branches are collated at the national level where a final verdict will be reached.
UTAG is composed of lecturers at the University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the University of Mines and Technology, the Ghana Institute of Journalism, the Institute of Professional Studies, the University for Development Studies, and the University of Cape Coast.
Members of the association have since October 1 withdrawn their teaching services to back demands for unpaid allowances and pay rise.