Removing ‘old’ lecturers from payroll will kill universities – UTAG

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The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), has described as unfortunate government’s move to take off all lectures above 65 years from its payroll.

The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), has directed public universities to remove all staff aged above 65 years from the government payroll from October 31, 2018.

However, speaking in an interview, Dr. Harry Agbanu, President of the University of Ghana chapter of UTAG, warned that universities would be negatively affected if the directive is adhered to.

“Those who are the experienced ones are being asked to go, then for me we are just getting ready to kill our universities”.

“It is an unfortunate development that should not happen at all. All over the world, senior academics are assets to the universities. It’s even difficult to get the qualified people to fill our positions here on our campuses and government is also not allowing for the recruitment of new staff,” he added.

Public universities directed to remove staff aged above 65yrs from payroll

According to a letter from the NCTE to all public universities, only academic staff aged between 60-65 years must be given post-retirement contracts effective October 31, 2018.

The letter signed by the Executive Secretary of the NCTE, Professor Mohammed Salifu, advised institutions who wish to retain staff aged above 65 years to reassign such persons as “consultants” and pay them from Internally Generated Funds.

The NCTE in a letter to all public universities titled: Post Retirement Contracts in Public Universities, raised concerns about post-retirement contracts and the need to seek clearance for the engagement of staff on such terms.

Referring to Article 199 (4) of the 1992 constitution which states that retired public officers must not be engaged for a period exceeding five years after retirement, the letter said universities have no basis for retaining such persons on the government payroll.

Details of the letter

A portion of the letter reads: “Consequently, you are by this letter being requested to ensure that effective 31st October 2018;

  1. Only post-retirement contract staff in the age group 60-65 years should remain on Government of Ghana (GoG) payroll as prescribed by the 1992 constitution.
  2. All academic staff above the age of 65 are taken off the GoG payroll and reassigned as “consultants” if their services are still required. Such staff may be paid from Internally Generated Funds of the institution.
  3. All non-academic staff on post-retirement contracts are deleted from the GoG payroll. In the meantime, the NCTE and Ministry of Education shall continue to hold discussions with the PSC and the Ministry of Finance on how post-retirement contract staff above age 65 should be treated. Please treat this as urgent and ensure compliance”.

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