POTAG Goes On Strike...Over Single Spine

RESUMPTION OF SUSPENDED STRIKE The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) wishes to bring to your attention its displeasure and dissatisfaction at the feet dragging pace at which issues pertaining to the final stages of its migration to the single spine are being handled hence have resumed their suspended strike action effective May 28,2012 until the single spine hits members accounts. Out of the 25 functions we perform, we are suspending teaching, project supervision and invigilation of Examinations. The reasons for our dissatisfaction are as follows: 1. Under the auspices of CORP, i.e. the Conference of Rectors of Polytechnics, all Polytechnic Finance Officers, their Payroll officers, the entire Leadership of POTAG, and representatives from FWSC met at EXCELSA HOTEL in Kumasi from the 11th to the 13th of April, 2012 to conclude the mapping exercise, a crucial component of the migration process on to the single spine. The mapping process was concluded and the data subsequently handed over to the FWSC for further scrutiny on the 14th of April, 2012. Our membership was expectant that they could receive their first Single Spine Salary by the end of April, 2012 but it was explained that May 2012 looked practically feasible, a message which POTAG hesitantly accepted. 2. On the 2nd of May 2012, i.e. two (2) weeks after the FWSC had received the data, the Leadership of POTAG made a follow up to the offices of the FWSC. It was there and then that the Leadership was told to provide fresh bio-data of our entire membership across the ten (10) Polytechnics to the Commission by the 8th of May, 2012 which we duly complied with. In deed we sat there for almost 3hours for that Letter to be written to us. 3. The National Leadership of POTAG was subsequently surprised to hear a false news report on Joy FM at its 6 o�clock a.m. news bulletin on the 14th of May, 2012 to the effect that the FWSC had received bio-data for only 5 Polytechnic. Upon a follow-up to the offices of the FWSC again on the same 14th of May, 2012 the FWSC shockingly acknowledged having received the data from all ten (10)Polytechnics and indicated that the news carried in the morning by the radio station was false. The Commission even demonstrated its commitment to retract the story and correct the impression created. Subsequently an understanding was reached between POTAG and the Commission that POTAG members would receive their first single spine salary by the end of May 2012 though it would be delayed for 2 or more weeks. This information was subsequently communicated to our members. 4. The leadership of POTAG then followed up to the Ministry of Finance that same day and met with Dr.Alhassan Iddrisu, Director of Real Sector Division,who after a few calls re-iterated the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning�s resolve to expedite the payment of the single spine salaries of Polytechnic Teachers by the end of May 2012 but acknowledged it would delay. This understanding was duly communicated to our membership. Members have remained expectant, knowing a delayed single spine salary for May 2012 was guaranteed. 5. Upon a request from the Controller and Accountant General�s Department, POTAG even gave its consent to the anticipated delay in the payment of May 2012 salary through a letter to the Controller and Accountant General�s Department (CAGD, dated 23rd May, 2012. 6. Information received by POTAG leadership from the Deputy Controller (FMS) at the Controller and Accountant General�s Department indicate that the final authorization from the Ministry of Finance had not come and so old salaries will still be paid for the month of May 2012. We particularly take exception to this because it contravenes the understanding we had with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), FWSC and the CAGD. 7. The information that old salaries will be paid for the month of May 2012 has caused irreparable anxiety among our members. There is a general feeling among our members of a calculated attempt on the part of all these institutions above mentioned to unnecessarily and unduly delay the payment of the new salaries to our members. 8. Reliable information even available to POTAG indicates that members will not even get their single spine salaries by June. At an emergency Congress of POTAG, it was resolved as follows: a. That POTAG members are still waiting for their new salaries for the month of May 2012 even if it will take them 2 to 3 weeks to prepare. b. That POTAG has provided all the necessary information needed for a successful migration and is not ready for this cat and mouse game. c. POTAG is by this press release informing you that we are resuming our suspended strike action and members shall only return to the classroom when the single spine salary hits members accounts.