KNUST Basic Sch. faces closure as senior staff strike bites

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Senior staff in state-run universities in Ghana have extended their strike to essential services on campuses following a break down of government negotiations.

The action has affected activities in basic schools, hospitals, clinics, fire and anatomy departments.

During a visit to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Basic School on Friday, June 4, some parents were seen taking their wards back home after they were notified of the strike.

Other pupils who reported on their own were asked to go back home.

A disappointed parent said: “I wasn’t informed about the strike. I came here yesterday [Thursday], and no one told me about any strike. If I had heard about it, I wouldn’t have brought them”.

A taskforce has also been formed by the Association to ensure that members would comply with the directive.

There are fears the school may be shut down as the strike intensifies.

This is the second time this year academic activities have been affected at the KNUST Basic School following a strike by members of the Association.

According to the Association, the earlier decision was to provide the government the opportunity to address their concerns, which include demands for improved conditions of service and the payment of outstanding Tier-2 pension contributions.

However, the group says the government has been unresponsive to their demands, hence their current decision.

“We have extended the strike to cover those who were exempted since May 18”, National President of the Association, Zakaria Mohammed disclosed.

The leadership of the Association, on Tuesday, met a delegation from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to look into their demands for the payment of their outstanding Tier-2 pension contributions and improved conditions of service but, that meeting ended inconclusively.

The industrial action commenced after the Association claimed the government had consistently failed to address their concerns.

Among other things, they are asking for the payment of market premiums and non-basic allowances as well as the finalisation of negotiations for their conditions of service.

The Association previously held a strike in January, 2021, but its members returned to work in February after the National Labour Commission (NLC) secured a court injunction compelling them to resume their duties while negotiations with government continued.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH

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