Friday, August 07, 2015

University of Ghana Faculty again on Strike over Book and Research Allowance

UTAG (University Teachers' Association of Ghana) declared another strike two days ago. This is the fifth strike I have been involved in since coming here almost five years ago. Again it is over the government's non-payment of the book and research allowance for last year. We still have not received the $1500 book allowance and 500 GH research allowance for academic year 2014/2015 even though this should have been paid over a year ago. There is no hint about our 2015/2016 allowance which was due on 1 August 2015. The government claims it took the first step to initiate payment of last year's allowance with the Ministry of Finance only in the middle of July 2015 and therefore we should not strike. The allowance is, however, already over a year late. The year before that the allowance was 18 months late and paid at an artificial exchange rate much lower than the real rate. The book and research allowance is the only money paid to university lecturers by the government calculated in dollars rather than cedis so it has become increasingly a greater percentage of our overall pay. Currently it represents almost 175% of the net (after taxes) monthly salary of a starting lecturer.

No comments: