Friday, August 23, 2013

Today's Emergency Union Meeting (UTAG)

Today I went to a UTAG (University Teachers Association of Ghana) emergency meeting. It appears that we are on strike until such time as the government pays all of our arrears and our book and research allowance. So I won't be teaching class tomorrow morning. The union is not always very good at informing its members of when it goes on strike and when strikes end. But, now they are going to start collecting the names of faculty who continue to teach. So the union is actually serious about enforcing the strike this time. Officially the strike has been going on since the start of the semester. That means that in the first week of September that the Vice Chancellor can shut down the campus for the academic year. Currently faculty and senior staff are on strike and junior staff are set to strike in a couple of weeks if their demands are not met. I don't think that the Vice Chancellor will shut down the university. On the other hand until all of our money is actually in our bank accounts we are not going to be teaching. Already the foreign students, particularly those from the US on expensive one semester programs, have started complaining about not receiving the lectures they paid thousands of dollars for. If the strike continues or the university is shut down there is no solution for what to do with the foreign students. The university does not have the money to refund their payments or to pay faculty extra to just teach them as it did during the strike last semester. The best outcome would be for the government to pay us in full as soon as possible so we can go back to work. Otherwise it may be a real easy semester as far as teaching is concerned.

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