The Minority in Parliament, has, through its Ranking Member of the Educational Committee of Parliament, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, called on the Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, to immediately resolve the impasse between the University Council, the Acting Vice Chancellor and some lecturers at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
It follows the alleged illegal dismissal and transfer of some staff by the university’s management.
Mr Nortsu-Kotoe, in a statement, accused the University Council and the Vice Chancellor of arrogating powers to themselves and acting without due process.
He said the Minister of Education must intervene to settle the growing misunderstanding at the university to ensure it does not get out of hand.
Below is the full statement:
MINORITY PRESS STATEMENT ON THE ABUSE OF POWER AND DISREGARD FOR LAID-DOWN PROCEDURES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION AT WINNEBA
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media,
As you are aware, since the beginning of 2017, the University of Education, Winneba has been in the news for various reasons. It started with court action which resulted in the suspension from office of some principal officers including the Vice Chancellor and the Director of Finance and the counter court decision which called for their reinstatement.
We are also aware of the suspension of works on some development projects, which, otherwise could have brought relief to both staff and students.
Ladies and Gentlemen, recent developments at the university need some special mention and attention so that the Minister of Education can take the necessary steps to address them.
Firstly, the University Council and the Acting Vice Chancellor have arrogated extreme powers to themselves. They are engaged in the dismissal of faculty members and other staff members on the perception that they support the interdicted staff.
The Council and Acting Vice Chancellor have also transferred over two hundred (200) staff from their various posts in Kumasi, Winneba or Mampong on flimsy excuses of regular staff transfers; paying a whopping sum of Four Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS400,000.00) to them as transfer grants. What is even disturbing is that some of them are nursing mothers and whose complaints are threatened with dismissal.
Meanwhile, the Acting Vice Chancellor, who was appointed by the so-called “illegal” Interim Council, and should have left office with the interdicted principal officers had exhausted his term as a Pro-Vice Chancellor and no longer qualified to act as a Vice Chancellor. Secondly, the dismissal of Dr Bekoe of the Winneba campus and his forceful eviction from his residence on the orders of the Acting Vice Chancellor, is not only in a bad taste but an act not expected in an academic environment. It is on record that the Acting Vice Chancellor ordered that utility supplies to the residence of Dr Bekoe be cut off. What is even disgraceful is his order for the removal of doors and windows to the apartment when the estate staff realised that Dr Bekoe could not be evicted easily.
Thirdly, under the labour laws of this country, anyone on interdiction or suspension from office and under investigation receives a percentage of his or her gross salary to sustain his or her family. It is ironical for the University Council and the Acting Vice Chancellor to have instructed that the salaries of these affected principal officers be stopped since January, 2018. It is in this direction that the Minority in Parliament sees the conduct of the Council and the Acting Vice chancellor as abuse of power and disregard for laid down procedures which is giving a very low image to the University.
Finally, the Minority will like to call on the Minister for Education to take the necessary steps to address the issues and restore sanity into the administration of the University so that faculty members and staff do not live in perpetual fear of intimidation in the discharge of their duties.
Hon. Peter Nortsu-Kotoe