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Ghana teachers’ union to begin government negotiations


Ghana teachers’ union to begin government negotiations

Ghana Teachers
Photo: Education International

As early as today striking university professors across Ghana are set to begin negotiations with the central government over a return to work.

Members of the University Teachers Association Ghana (UTAG) began the strike on August 2, ceasing classes and suspending exams. UTAG accuses Accra of providing university professors with poor working conditions. Ghana’s National Labour Commission has secured an injunction from the country’s Labour Court, barring UTAG from commencing legal proceedings against the government pending the outcome of talks.

The Labour Court has a long history of siding with the government on labor disputes, so UTAG is more likely to be successful out of court through informal negotiations. In addition to the injunction, the Court has also fined UTAG for procedural error.

In the short-term, expect negotiations to lead to a tentative agreement to return to work in exchange for better contracts, particularly wage increases. The government and UTAG have already shown their willingness to compromise by agreeing to a memorandum of understanding commencing the negotiations. In the long-term, UTAG and other unions in the country will likely call for judicial reforms increasing the independence of the country’s courts so they more fairly resolve labor disputes.

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