The National Labour Commission (NLC) and members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have been ordered by the Labour Division of the Accra Circuit Court to explore settling their issues outside of court.
The NLC had gone to court to get a court order issued to UTAG to end their strike.
Their writ said, “Counsel for the Applicant herein shall pray this Honourable Court for an Order for Interlocutory Injunction compelling the respondent herein, whether, by itself, its executives, officers, members, agents, servants, employees or other persons to comply with the Directive of the National Labour Commission dated the 13th of January 2022 to, among others, call of the industrial action and resume negotiation with its employees upon grounds contained in the accompanying affidavit pending the final determination of the suit.”
On Thursday, February 3, 2022, the court was scheduled to hear arguments in favor of or against the application. However, the judge, Frank Rockson Aboadwe, invited both sides’ counsel into his chambers and told them to try to settle the dispute outside of court. They are to return to court on February 10, to finalize matters.
Counsel for UTAG, Kwesi Keli- Delataa told journalists that they were prepared to argue in court.
“Today was fixed for the hearing of an application by the National Labour Commission which has come to court praying the court to enforce its directives.”
“That directive was to compel the UTAG to call of their strike, so that application was to be held today. We were all ready to make legal arguments for or against an order of the court for the enforcement of the NLC but the judge decided that we should meet in chamber.”
“When we went to the chambers the judge decided that we should take another bite at an opportunity to try to settle out of court, so that is what took place today . We made it clear to the judge that the national leadership of the UTAG so we asked for time for the UTAG to go and hold the necessary consultation and then report back to the court on 10th of February at 1PM.”
The National Labor Relations Board had declared that the UTAG’s strike was unconstitutional, but UTAG persisted that they would not return to the classroom. This followed a meeting on Thursday, January 13 with labor unions and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.
Bright Wireku Brobbey, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, told journalists after the meeting that the government expects the unions to do what is required.
“In the sprit of transparency and very mutual respect for them , they have assured them that whatever allowance is due them because they were captured in the 2022 budget January they are going to be paid . Therefore the Commission has directed that they go and call off the strike immediately.”
“This is something that is good for Ghana expecting that schools had just reopened , parents had just seen of their wards to the various institution. I am glad that CETAG has also be asked so let us expect that they do the needful and then we have peace.”
He added ” The National Labour Commission is a state institution. Indeed of labour institution are litigating there must be somebody to arbitrate . This is the legally mandated institution, they have heard us and they have issued their directive . It is my expectation that UTAG will also call off their striker.”
Do you believe the government will ensure that UTAG’s issues are addressed before they go back to court? Let us know what you think.