Representation on KNUST Council not up for discussion with government-UTAG et al

The KNUST branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG-KNUST) and other unions and associations on KNUST are insisting on presenting names of members who were on the old governing council.

Speaking at a press conference organized by the various labour unions, an executive member of UTAG-KNUST, Dr. Otchere Addai-Mensah stated that the press conference sought to ‘’draw the attention of Government and erase the erroneous impression the government is creating in the minds of people that UTAG and the sister Unions or associations are holding the public to ransom by refusing to change their representation on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Council’’.

According to them, the representatives of UTAG, TEWU, Alumni and Convocation (Professorial and Non-Professorial) have been duly elected through a laid down process to represent their respective constituencies on council for a defined term. He says per provision (g) of KNUST Act 80, 7(1), the government has no business meddling in the representation of UTAG or any of the other bodies on the University Council.

According to the press statement, the representation of the union and associations on the Council is not up for discussion with government.

They added that the government should be interested in establishing whether the grievances espoused by the students in the wake of the recent disturbances had come to the attention of the council. ‘’In the case of the recent disturbances at KNUST, rather than establishing whether indeed the grievances the students were espousing had ever come to the attention of Council, Government instead decided to put blame on the KNUST Governing Council in order to have an excuse to dissolve it. This is akin to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.’’

They said the position by government is against the spirit of the mutual agreement between Government and UTAG that devolved the resolution of the impasse to His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. The statement asks government that if it seeks to dissolve the old governing council because they were not able to anticipate and prevent the outcome of the demonstration by the students, why did it include the name of five persons of the old council in the government’s initial seven member interim council.

According to the various labour groups, government is making it difficult for KNUST to resume normal academic work.

Also speaking at the press conference, the national president of UTAG, Dr. Eric Opoku Mensah indicated that national UTAG is in full support of UTAG-KNUST’s decision not to resume work until government allows the various groups to decide who they want to represent on the council. He called on the national peace council and other faith organizations to intervene.

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