The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has described the strike by staff and lecturers of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), over the appointment of a substantive Deputy Rector as unlawful.
A convocation ceremony to elect a Deputy Rector last Thursday was called off by the acting Registrar, Julius Atikpui, who explained in a letter that the decision was reached in consultation with the Ministry of Education and the National Council for Tertiary Education.
But the GIMPA staff believe the decision to cancel the convocation is a deliberate one to frustrate the process, hence their notice of a strike.
The Executive Secretary for the NCTE, Professor Mohammed Salifu, shed further light on the matter saying the election was called off to enable the Ministry of Education examine a court judgement on the exercise.
Speaking to a news team, Prof. Salifu clarified that: “Nobody has denied them the opportunity of going through that process. It is just that in these peculiar circumstances, we have a court ruling and we need to be absolutely sure how that court ruling is respected and we are thinking; if they went ahead with the decision, they could take a decision that would impact adversely on what eventually will be decided. You may have a grievance, but the way you go about the grievance can make or unmake your case.”
Prof. Salifu further stressed that, the smooth running of academic activities at GIMPA was a priority of the NCTE, as he condemned the actions of staff that were affecting lectures.
“What we have told management to do is to make sure that academic activity is not interrupted; but it is not everybody who is subscribing to that. One or two people are insisting they are on strike and have not been attending lectures. Even if you go on strike, there is a procedure that you have to follow. You don’t just go for a meeting and after the meeting, you decide that you have declared a strike and you start locking up classrooms. That is completely unlawful.”
Background to lawsuit
Professor Philip Duku Osei, who was the Deputy Rector at GIMPA, filed a suit at a Madina District Court against the Rector, Chairman of the Council and the Registrar, challenging their decision to declare his position vacant.
Prof Osei argued that he was still at post although reports are that he was appointed in 2014 to serve a two-year term.
The court in January subsequently directed that he be compensated for a year, but GIMPA be allowed to appoint a substantive Deputy Rector.
His case was anchored on a revision of the statutes of the Council which extended the tenure of the office holder to three years.
Thus, the decision taken by the management of the Institute to call for the election of a new Deputy Rector was premature, given the fact that he still has a year left in his tenure, Prof Osei said.