The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) is calling on the government to promptly address the concerns raised by the Senior Staff Associations of the country's universities, which recently declared an indefinite nationwide strike.
The Senior Staff Association of the Public Universities in Ghana (SSA-UoG) and the Federation of Universities Senior Staff (FUSSAG) initiated the strike on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, citing a perceived disregard for their welfare by the government.
The core demands include the payment of their two-tier pension and overtime allowances, which they claim have been overlooked.
This strike has resulted in the withdrawal of essential services, affecting various aspects of university operations, including healthcare, administration, and security. Notably, the absence of senior technicians due to the strike is causing disruptions for final-year students who require stringent supervision during practical sessions.
Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh, the President of NUGS, expressed concern about the impact of the strike on academic progress, particularly for final-year and science students engaged in practical sessions.
In an interview with Citi News, he emphasized the vital role played by senior officers, especially technicians, in labs and offices for the smooth running of academic activities.
“We've had complaints, especially from students who are now in their final year, third year, and particularly science students who will mostly be engaging in practical sessions, needing these senior officers, especially technicians in the labs,” said Mr Oppong Kyeremeh.
He urged the government to engage in dialogue with the unions to reach an agreement swiftly. “We are just asking the government to sit down with these unions and come to an agreement with them. According to their conversations, they have been fighting for these conditions of service for years, and the government keeps rescheduling meetings and not giving them proper attention.”
Mr. Oppong Kyeremeh further emphasized the need for the government to transparently communicate the reasons for their inability to meet the demands for better conditions of service. He stressed that the absence of essential services from senior staff was hindering the progress of academic work across universities.