|Dr. Bekoe swearing inn UHAS-UTAG|
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have sent yet a strong signal to government that, the association will not back down in the “fight” against the scrapping-off of the book and research allowance for its members.
Dr Samuel Ofori Bekoe National President of UTAG said on Wednesday that members of the Association are professionals who are committed to their work and know the tools needed for the job and “would not be pushovers to allow people who do not know anything about tertiary education to dictate to them”.
Government in the 2013 budget announced the cancellation of the book and research allowance and replacing it with a national research fund. This decision however did not go down well with the two tertiary education teachers associations, with the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana declaring an indefinite strike for the past 8-weeks.
But speaking at the inauguration of the 10th UTAG branch at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ho, Dr. Bekoe said the book and research allowance were part of the condition of service of members of the association and government has no right to unilaterally take away the allowances, noting that, it was against international labour laws.
“Government must listen to us because anything short of this will not auger well for all of us and if government cannot do it, it must move out for the one who can do it” he stated.
UTAG, according Dr. Bekoe is not against the proposed national research fund, and should not be used to replace the book and research allowances since both are serving different purposes.
He also said the absence of a policy document on the proposed national research fund could affect its successful implementation.
The UHAS branch of UTAG is under the Presidency of Dr Francis Zotor, Head of the Department of Public Health, UHAS. Other executives are Peter Adatara, Vice-President, Reuben Ayivor-Djanie, Secretary and Ms Eunice Berko, Treasurer.
Dr Bekoe asked the new executives to unite to develop the Association as professional union and assured them of the UTAG national executive committee’s support in their activities.
Professor Edwin K. Wiredu, Pro Vice Chancellor of UHAS lauded the association for fighting for the good of its members and urged them to remain steadfast in their endeavours.