Govít Agrees To UTAG Demands

Government has reaffirmed its resolve to pay the Book and Research Allowances of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) under the existing arrangement for the 2013/2014 academic year. The parties resolved to ensure that payment of the 2013/2014 Book and Research Allowances commence with immediate effect and would be completed by the end of the fiscal year. Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, made this known at a meeting between UTAG, Ministries of Education and Finance, National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC). Mr Iddrisu said after deliberations, the parties agreed that the exchange rate to be used for the Book and Research Allowance shall be computed using the average Bank of Ghana exchange rate for 2013 and 2014. He said the Ministry of Finance and the NCTE have initiated the processes leading to the payment of the Book and Research Allowances and UTAG is expected by the agreement to call off its nationwide strike. Mr Iddrisu said the parties agreed that the FWSC negotiates with UTAG on their conditions of service in line with the Single Spine Pay Policy, taking cognizance of governmentís policy to establish a National Research Fund. Mr Samuel Bekoe, National President of UTAG said the Association has agreed on government interventions and would communicate it to itís constitute body for feedback. He expressed the hope that by the end of the week, the association would announce its decision to call off the strike. The personalities who signed the Memoranda of Understanding include Mr Iddrisu, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education, Mr George Smith-Graham, Chief Executive of FWSC, Mr Paul Dzandu, Deputy Executive Secretary, NCTE and Dr Samuel Bekoe, National President of UTAG.