STORY BY: SETH AMEYAW DANQUAH, TAKORADI,W/R

It’s not time for vacation or a public holiday, but students of Takoradi Polytechnic in the Western Region were on thursday spotted exiting the campus en mass with desperation and uncertainty boldly written on their faces.

And the reason is that their lecturers have declared an indefinite strike.

The students, mainly from other regions other than the Western, headed home immediately their lecturers, who are members of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG,) addressed a packed press conference on the polytechnic campus to announce their intention.

The academic calendar of the Polytechnic has just begun with many students, especially those from afar, just arriving or yet to arrive on campus.

According to the students, they could not afford to stay on the campus to while away the time as their lecturers have decided to boycott lectures.

“As for me, I am going home because I don’t want to spend the small money I have with me here…  Of course I would be wasting money if I continue to stay here without anyone attending lectures…,” said a Level-200 student.

Another student from Accra who had been on the campus for barely two weeks after school re-opened hopes the strike action would be called off by Monday, since school had just began.

“When things don’t turn out well by Monday I would leave, at least I have no business being in Takoradi if our lecturers stay away from the classroom… I am just hoping everything calms down then we continue with our studies in a peaceful atmosphere.

Members of the Takoradi Polytechnic Chapter of the POTAG yesterday resolved to embark on a sit-down strike due to failure of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to migrate them onto the new Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS.)

The teachers resolved to remain on an indefinite sit-down strike until they see proactive and progressive measures on the part of FWSC and government toward migrating POTAG members onto the SSSS.

They further appealed to President Mills to intervene to avoid any disruption to the academic calendar to enable the final year students successfully complete their education without any hitches.

Addressing journalists, Chairman of the T-Poly Chapter of POTAG, Mr. Samuel Mensah, intimated that FWSC has not shown enough commitment towards bridging the gap in respect of remuneration levels that existed between POTAG and other analogous institutions.

He further lamented: “It is evident that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission have persistently taken a feet-dragging posture and attitude towards the migration of POTAG members onto the Single Spine Salary Structure. Meanwhile, the national body is making arrangement to declare a nationwide sit-down strike on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.”

Issues concerning the SSSS have been the cause of many industrial actions in the country over the last few years with the recent one being that of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU).

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