Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have embarked on a nationwide strike effective today September 18 2017, to protest a court ruling which ordered the Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, to step aside.
Lecturers of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) had already withdrawn all their services indefinitely after Court ruling which directed that Vice Chancellor, Professor Mawutor Avoke and the Chief Finance Officer hand over to the Pro-Vice Chancellor.
The nationwide strike by UTAG is in solidarity with their branch at UEW.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of UTAG at an emergency meeting held at University of Professional Studies on September 11, 2017, asked its members in all the other public Universities throughout the country to withdraw their teaching services beginning Monday, September 18, 2017, in solidarity with UTAG-UEW.”
UTAG is of the view the court directive was “an attack on academic freedom, and thus, affects all public Universities in Ghana.”
Dr. Samuel Bekoe, the President of the UEW branch of UTAG in July told journalists that the association find it worrying that about 95 of their members were newly appointed under the governing council which is being challenged in court.
He said about 62 have been promoted as senior lecturers, associate professors and senior professors and that all those positions would be affected by the court’s ruling putting their employment and livelihoods in jeopardy.
The Winneba High Court on Friday July 14 asked the two principal officers to cease holding themselves as such as per a suit filed by Kofi Kwayera questioning the legality of the university’s Governing Council.
The suit is seeking a dissolution of the University’s Governing Council and, in effect, render the positions of Vice Chancellor and Chief Finance Officer vacant.
The Presiding Judge, Mr Justice William Ato Mills-Graves, granted the plea of the plaintiffs and ordered the two officers to step aside.
But the lecturers say they are confused about their future with the university.
Dr Bekoe said even the Pro-Vice Chancellor cannot perform his duties as the university’s regulations enjoin only the VC to appoint the Pro-Vice Chancellor.