Last Friday, it emerged that government’s attempt to force the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU) at KNUST to present entirely new representatives to the school’s new governing council on Friday, led to a postponement of the swearing-in ceremony for the new council.
Government insisted that it would not present its nominees for the new council to be inaugurated until the other representing unions change their nominees.
But, speaking on Eyewitness News on Friday, Charles Arthur, President of the KNUST TEWU wondered why a democratically-elected party like the NPP will not allow a union to elect its own representative to the governing council.
“Why did the NPP not change Nana Addo as a presidential candidate. They took him as a candidate three times before he won the presidency for them. They had the right and liberty to do that and they exercised that under the constitution. A democratically elected person and they have done that? They have come through democratically and they want to be undemocratic.”
“Should the NPP tell us who should represent TEWU on the university council, when the law prescribes how this is done ever since. Even the military regime did not approach us in that way”, he stressed.
KNUST: Constitution of Council fails as gov’t clashes with UTAG, TEWU
The government, after a high-level meeting with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is also the Chancellor of KNUST agreed that all representing groups on the KNUST governing council would present their nominees for a new governing council to be inaugurated yesterday [Friday] but that could not happen.
Vice President of KNUST-UTAG, Charles Marfo disclosed that government made the proposal at an earlier meeting with UTAG but after opposition from the Association, both parties agreed that the proposal was not feasible.
“Last Monday, we didn’t agree on this… It was the Senior Minister that raised the matter that because the government was changing its members, all the other representative groups should do same… Where lies the independence of the associations if the government is to tell us who to bring on the board. We debated it in the room and they finally accepted it,” he quizzed.
He indicated that UTAG cannot explain government’s insistence for an entirely new representative but the Association cannot be forced to kowtow to government’s demands.
Government asked the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, to take steps to reconstitute a new Governing Council in accordance with the institution’s relevant statutes and laws.
The decision came hours after the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, was asked to step aside and hand over to the Pro Vice-Chancellor.
An initial seven-member interim committee was tasked to manage KNUST after the school was shut down indefinitely following violent student protests.
Representatives of the University Teachers Association (UTAG), and the Teachers and Education Workers’ Union (TEWU) at KNUST were later added to the interim council after opposing it.
They, however, rejected the council entirely, insisting that the old council should be restored.
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