In Ghana, the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (PTAG) continues to lead strikes, demanding better salaries and working conditions. The teachers say the government has failed to finalize benefits. Today, the teachers association will meet in order to reassess the situation.

The National President of PTAG, Benjamin Otoo, discussed the situation with English reporter Peter Clottey. ?We are on strike and what actually caused that is the fact that first, the CBD ? that?s the collective bargaining agreement with the government for salaries and conditions of service ? expired as far back as 30th September 2003. And since then all efforts to get new conditions of service in place has not materialized. Almost every year there is this attempt by the government to resolve the issue?. We accept their proposal and down the line nothing happens. Point number two: we presented our proposal for new salary levels since November last year, and as we speak now we?ve still not agreed on any figure.?

Otoo explained the tentative agreement that was reached between the teachers and the government: ?We agreed on two principles, that one: 24th May 2006 we are reconvening for negotiations to resume. And two: upon the new salary rationalization of public sector conditions of service by the government, we are saying that until that is done we need to sign a new condition of service awaiting the final paper from the minister in charge of that salary rationalization.?

Otoo said if the government fails to meet their demands, they will be disappointed. ?Basically we are not demanding something too much out of the ordinary. We are saying that at the time we started this strike, the basic salary of a polytechnic lecturer is that of somebody with a second degree at the polytechnic and that of the analogous institutions, like the universities, research institutions in Ghana, was the 23%. And so we agreed that if that is the rationalization and people of equal qualification are performing similar task, then at least even if it?s not the same, at least the difference should not be too much. So we agreed in principle that the 23% must be paid to PTAG.?

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