According to the union, the decision was reached after the committee had an emergency meeting on January 4th and 7th, 2022, to discuss the worsening Conditions of Service (CoS) of the University Teacher and the failure of the employer in addressing the plight of UTAG members within the agreed timeline.
This was contained in a communiqué released by the NEC of UTAG
“It may be recalled that the Interim Market Premium (IMP), which was instituted following the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy got frozen, per a Government White Paper, in 2013, for the purpose of the conduct of a Labour Market Survey (LMS) to determine a Market Premium payable to workers who deserve it”.
“To date, this determination has not been made, which has resulted in the erosion of the University Teacher’s salary”, the Association said.
It further noted that there was the hope that by completing and implementing the LMS Report of 2019, a review of the IMP would have put the University Teacher on a relatively good salary stead.
The union said regrettably, the recommendations of the 2019 LMS Report without any accompanying technical report on the implementable IMP was meaningless to UTAG as it does not address the pertinent issues of improved CoS.
It also added that “Interestingly, however, there was an LMS in 2014 whose Report did not see the light of day and one wonders if the 2019 LMS Report would ever be implemented since it is already two years old”.
In addition, recommendation (iii) from the 2019 LMS Report states that “Public Services Commission should liaise with educational institutions to prioritise the offering of courses in areas of demand to increase the employment prospects of their graduates and increase the pool of applicants for high vacancies.”
“How can such a National Agenda be attained if the CoS of the University Teacher keeps worsening year on year leading to an ever-increasing attrition rate on our campuses? UTAG members see the timing of the release of the report as one of the usual delay tactics that the Employer has employed over the years, which is unacceptable” the union stated.
It said, “generally our members have decried the pittance agreed to be paid an annual research allowance and would want to have the government to reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development”.
For the reasons stated above, the NEC of UTAG decided to lay down their tools and therefore call on all UTAG members across the fifteen branches to observe this directive.
The Association as a matter of urgency has called on the Employer to restore members to the 2013 IMP of 114% of Basic Salary in the interim whilst the Government goes ahead to formulate guidelines to implement the appropriate recommendations to address the CoS of the University Teacher.
“Following the uneasiness among UTAG members, any delay by the Employer would further exacerbate the already fragile academic calendar to the detriment of all stakeholders” it added.