Technical University Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG) at the end of its 39th Delegate Congress in Koforidua in the Eastern is calling on Government to sign and implement the conditions of service document presented with the urgency it deserves.
The association threatened that further delays from the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has the tendency of jeopardizing efforts at calming down the nerves of teachers of technical universities in the country.
At a press conference addressed by the association’s National President, Dr Michael Akurugu Brigandi, under the theme “Ensuring Violence free Elections, the Role of Technical University Teachers”, he disclosed that the migration process of Wa and Bolgatanga polytechnics into universities has been successful by Government, but according to the Association what’s delaying now is their migration onto the Public University Salary Structure (PUSS).
He added that all efforts to have the issue resolved have failed, for which reason, it will not entertain any further delay.
1. Peace Before, During and After Elections 2020
Peace can be likened to the air we breathe. As it is available, its existence is taken for granted, but when we don’t have it, that is when we suddenly realize its essential nature to our very existence.
TUTAG hereby joins all well-meaning Ghanaians to keep to their commitments to a peaceful and violence free electioneering process. All political parties are hereby enjoined to act in a manner that promotes peace. Let all political parties demonstrate issues-based campaign, devoid of incendiary language. Ghana is all we have and it is surrounded by countries whose language we cannot speak. TUTAG will not support any political party that appears to divide us for cheap political gains. We encourage the media, civil society organizations and religious bodies to monitor and firmly rebuke any political actor(s) whose actions or inactions may endanger the peace we seek to jealously protect. All technical university lecturers are called upon to play the role of shaping a perfect and humane political discourse with the aim of promoting peace and unity among the citizens of our beloved Ghana. Society listens to us and relies greatly on our inputs. We must remain as touch bearers in the national quest for peace before, during and after the elections.
2. COVID-19 fight is not over
TUTAG is concerned with the current situation of gross disregard to the safety protocols in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ease in restrictions should not be misunderstood to mean complete eradication of the dreaded virus. TUTAG calls on all Ghanaians to take a cue from the many souls that have sadly fell to the virus and those who suffered various degrees of casualties. All must commit to full adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols. Your family needs you alive, and so does Ghana need you alive.
3. Conditions of Service of TUTAG
Ladies and Gentlemen, It will interest you and the general public to note that the last time the Conditions of Service for technical university lecturers was reviewed was in 2006, (14 good years ago!) No one needs to tell anyone that TUTAG as a union is at a very crucial stage and that government has exceeded TUTAG’s tolerable limits. Government must sign and implement the Conditions of Service document presented by TUTAG with the urgency it deserves. Further delay from the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has the tendency of jeopardizing efforts at calming down the nerves of teachers of technical universities in the country.
4. Migration of Wa and Bolgatanga Technical Universities onto the Public University Salary
TUTAG is happy to note that the conversion of the Wa and Bolgatanga Technical Universities has been successfully completed by government. However, what is delaying now is their migration onto the Public University Salary Structure (PUSS). The NCTE and Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) are feet dragging in this regard and the overwhelming nature of this attitude is what is giving TUTAG members sleepless nights. TUTAG expects nothing less than an expeditious migration of Wa and Bolgatanga Technical Universities onto the PUSS. Anything less than this will jeopardize the relative peace we are currently enjoying on our campuses.
5. Payment of Research Arrears Due TUTAG Members.
In the 2018/19 academic year, government increased the Research Allowance by 100% thus raising the figure from Five Hundred to One Thousand Ghana Cedis. The increase was paid to other university lecturers except TUTAG members for reasons best known to only government. TUTAG has since last year done everything peaceful and humanly possible to get government to pay the said arrears, but to no avail.
TUTAG will go all length in pressing home the demand for a review of its conditions of service, the migration of Bolga and Wa and the payment of the said arrears if government fails to act within two weeks from date of this communiqué.
6. Non Accreditation of Technical Universities’ Academic Programs
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is strange and indeed interesting to note that the very government that is committing heavy doses of resources into the development of the country’s manpower needs is the same government that is impeding the efforts of technical universities in their quest to train manpower to feed the economy. Government, through the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB) is doing all it can to frustrate the existence of technical universities by failing to accredit well designed (Competency-Based) academic programs meant to produce the much needed manpower for the country. We consider this attitude unimaginable of the regulatory bodies.
Why will any government agency deliberately empanel theory-based academics to assess practical / competency based programs? More so the constitution of the Boards of these regulatory bodies is so skewed in favour of non-technical university experts. The situation can be likened to maize farmers being asked to guide rice farmers for good yield.
Again, the subtle underhand dealings of National Board for Professional and Technical Examinations (NABPTEX) is clearly evident in all the ongoing non-accreditation of technical university programs as the fear is that it may lead to loss of NABPTEX’s monopoly over HND programs in Ghana.
TUTAG shall resist any further attempt by the aforementioned regulatory bodies to frustrate the growth and impact of technical universities on the Ghanaian and International academic landscape. Thank you all for your time.
Dr. Michael Akurugu Brigandi