UTAG lacks the peace of mind to continue with negotiations – Dr. Baffour-Adjei

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The University Teachers Association of Ghana, UTAG, has described the actions of the National Labour Commission, NLC, as detrimental in reaching a peaceful resolution to the long-standing impasse between UTAG and the government over their salary structure.

According to the UTAG President-elect for the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED), Dr Stephen Baffour-Adjei, UTAG do not have the peace of mind it needs to continue their negotiation with Government due to the measures the NLC has taken against them.

Following Monday, August 16 showdown in the Labour Court 1 of the High Court in Accra, UTAG has been fined 3,000 Ghana Cedis for the waste of the court’s time whiles recommending to both parties to have an out of court settlement.

Dr Baffour-Adjei who spoke to the host of MYND FM’s Morning Train programme, Erich Odonkor, on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, questioned their capability to continue the negotiations with government.

“For us, we’ve been very committed to that [negotiation]. So that at a point when government is supposed to have finished with the market survey by 2020 and we felt that these things were not happening, we had the patience to write to government that the deadline is approaching. So we’ve been patient and very careful going through all the processes.”

“But you see, when the court gave that timely advice, the NLC’s position was that, they were not party to the issue so they were not thinking of out of court settlement. There is something that we need to understand, if we’re going back to the negotiation table to discuss things, with what piece of mind are we going to use to do that” Dr Baffour-Adjei rhetorically quizzed.

Meanwhile, the President-elect also indicated that the advice by the court, wholly lies in the bossom of the NLC since UTAG do not have the prerogative to take the case out of court.

“We haven’t taken government or NLC to court. It is rather the NLC that has taken us to court and in principle, they are those that will initiate withdrawal and out of court settlement.”

According to Dr. Baffour-Adjei, “If the NLC and by extension government is so minded by the good council that the trial judge gave, I am sure that they would begin to take steps to withdraw the case and reach out to us to that we can have an out of court settlement.

Should the NLC and UTAG not reach a consensus by Thursday, August 19, 2021, the onus would now lie on the High Court to determine the outcome of the ex-parte interlocutory injunction secured by the NLC in the wake of the strike action initiated by UTAG on August 2, 2021.

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