The leadership of the Ghana National Union of Technical Students (GNUTS), has issued a two-week ultimatum to government and the Technical University Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG) to resolve all issues in order to end the association’s strike.
GNUTS has warned that it will ask its members to leave the various campuses if both parties fail to end the current impasse. Their statement however comes just when TUTAG promised to call off the strike on Friday after engaging with government.
“After a holistic review, critique of the lingering industrial actions embarked upon by the academic staff of Technical Universities, the leadership of the Ghana National Union of Technical Students (GNUTS) is forced to issue a two-week ultimatum to both the government and the Technical University Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG) to find a middle ground to call off the strike, or we direct our members to vacate from the campuses.”
GNUTS is of the view that both government and members of TUTAG are “playing adamant or unaware of the costs of strikes on the academic life of students.”
“We are by this registering our dissatisfaction in the way and manner the government and the TUTAG have resolved covertly or overtly to toy with the future of Ghanaian youth who find themselves in Technical Universities with their actions and inaction.”
The union is also asking government to as a matter of urgency do whatever it takes to protect the education of Technical university students.
“It’s students that bear the brunt of this long-standing battle between both parties, which fills parents and students alike with dread. At any time, it could mean anything between one week to five months of no education. Undeniably, the immediate impacts of strikes on students include disruption of academic activities and a disjointed academic calendar.”
“Once a strike is called off, students have to complete all coursework within a shortened timeframe, meaning they have less time to attend classes and study. Students who should ordinarily spend two, three to four years in the Technical University sometimes end up staying longer because of the labour strife.”
The leadership of GNUTS has given every indication that it is determined to carry out its intended plans to the fullest if campuses are not reopened at the end of the two-week ultimatum.
“We, therefore, urge the government and TUTAG not to test our resolve, as Technical University students have been patient and taken for granted for far too long. We have faced enough; we have suffered enough marginalization, enough is enough.”
TUTAG’s nationwide strike began on Monday, June 14, to negotiate for better conditions of service and also demand payment of their 2018/2019 Research arrears, among other important issues.