The Minister of Education, through the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), has directed the management of the University of Education, Winneba, to pull the brakes on a directive to the Registrar of the University to take his accumulated leave.
According to Yaw Osei Adutwum, although he appreciates the prerogative of the management of the university to decide when its staff must take their annual leave, a perception of unfair treatment has been raised, hence, his intervention.
He said in order for all parties concerned to be treated fairly, he will schedule a meeting for the matter to be discussed thoroughly.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba, Nana Ofori Ansah, had asked the Registrar, Paul Osei Barima, to proceed on leave.
In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the Chairman also appointed Mrs. Tete Mensah to act as Registrar.
Prior to the appointment of Mrs. Tete Mensah, the Council Chairman had directed the Registrar to take all his accumulated leave. He stated in the letter to the Registrar that the leave takes effect from May 19th, 2022, by which time the total number of days worked out by the Human Resource Division of the University would have been reached.
The directive by the Governing Council Chairman, according to the Registrar, was in sharp contrast with Section A of the Governing Council’s decision/policy on annual leave for principal officers and principals of colleges, which states that, “all principal officers and principals of colleges, excluding the Vice-Chancellor, are granted thirty-one (31) days of annual leave per year, which should not be accumulated.” If it happens that a principal officer is unable to take his/her leave, the leave is forfeited for that year.”
The Registrar, upon receipt of the letter ordering him to proceed on leave, wrote back to the Council Chairman, saying, “I have written to draw your attention and contest this very unilateral decision of the Council Chairman. I have maintained that the leave roster, together with its management, being the function of the HR and Management, should be left as such and not be allowed to become an extended function of the Chairman of the Governing UEW Council. ”
The Registrar quoted the decision of the Cape Coast High Court in the Ex-Parte Duku case, where Her Ladyship Patience Mills-Tetteh opined that the powers of the Governing Council and that of the Vice-Chancellor in the administration of the University were coterminous
The judge in the case referred to the Governing Council as a body and the Chairman of the Governing Council as an individual, hence the Chairman, as an individual, does not have the powers to issue such directives on leave together with its management. In the opinion of the Registrar, the Council, of which he is the Secretary, has not taken a decision in this regard.
Again, the Registrar insists that the decision to ask him to proceed on leave is irregular and sets a bad precedent in the system; a development that cannot be allowed to stand.
Mr. Osei Barima contended that he has no accumulated leave.
The directive by the Governing Council Chairman is said to be heightening tension on the campus of the university as other officers have been relieved of their positions and their juniors ordered to take over from them.