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UTAG Discloses Amount Owed   
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After several deliberations between government and the leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), the estimated amount government is said to owe the teachers association has finally been revealed.

UTAG President, Anthony Simmons, speaking to Joy FM on Wednesday, disclosed the arrears payable to the University teachers which has necessitated a strike action nationwide.

He revealed that the debt has from last year compounded to about GHC 10 million, in which case the teachers have called on government to settle all their outstanding 2012 market premium arrears.

Though government in a statement pledged to remit the arrears in three installments, the teachers however are yet to decide on their next line of action.

A statement issued by the Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga, on Wednesday pointed out that government will in the months ahead pay up the arrears to the teachers. The payment would be done in installments as stipulated; May 2013 – four months arrears, July 2013 – 4 months arrears and September 2013 – 4 months arrears.

The statement further said government held a meeting with the leadership of the UTAG to discuss the decision of the Association to embark on a strike due to the government’s inability to make lump sum payment of their 2012 market premium arrears.

It also said that Chief of Staff, Mr. Prosper Bani, during the meeting appealed to the University lecturers to rescind their decision and resume work as government takes the necessary steps to address their grievances.

This notwithstanding, government will have to pay each teacher about 3400 cedis before they simmer down and resume to the classrooms.

Mr. Simmons also blamed the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC) for refusing to defray the arrears, describing the treatment as unfair because UTAG “took Fair Wages to court when they said they were not going to pay this money. Now, after court ruling and then National Security stating that we have a case and they should pay the money; Fair Wages now goes and then invites all other groups who have not sent them to court and who were even not expecting this money that now it is only fair that we pay all other unions which are there. But to us, the people who sent you to court, deal with them first before you bring all others on board because they were not expecting the money…we knew we have a communiqué with you and we signed that in 2011. And so, we fought for this money. So if it has come, settle with us and then deal with the rest.”

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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