The Governing Council had earlier taken the decision to pay the Rector, who is now on two months leave, a sum of GH¢30,000 for the five out of nine months’ accumulated leave since he became the Rector of the Polytechnic in 2009.
The decision by the Governing Council of the polytechnic led to a tug of war between the Council on one hand, and lecturers of the polytechnic on the other, who had openly criticised the decision.
The reasons ascribed by the lecturers was premised on the fact that per the Labour Act, there is no provision that if one deliberately refused to go on leave for a period of time, it should be converted into cash.
Asiedu Kokuro, who is a Lecturer at the school and Secretary of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana on campus (POTAG), told this reporter that the Governing Council would set a bad precedence if it went ahead to convert the leave period into cash.
This is because apart from the Labour Act, which is against conversion of accumulated leave into cash, in the conditions of service, as entered into with the Rector of the school before his appointment, there was no provision that in the event the Rector fails to proceed on annual leave, it should be converted into cash.
As a result, the decision to convert the accumulated leave into cash was a humanitarian one, and had no grounds in law.
“I have seen the conditions of service signed with the Rector, and nowhere does it state that the school should pay the Rector for failing to embark on leave,” he said. Asiedu Kokuro, therefore, threatened to drag the Governing Council to court if it went ahead to convert the accumulated leave into cash payment for the Rector.
But, even before lecturer Asiedu Kokuro proceeds to court, the latter has swiftly moved to reverse its earlier decision.
Information available to The Chronicle indicates that the Governing Council, at a meeting held last Friday, rescinded its decision to pay the Rector the aforementioned sum.
The Council, at the said meeting, led by its Chairman, Mr. J. E. Ackah, unanimously agreed not to pay a pesewa to the embattled Rector, having failed to proceed on his stipulated annual leave.
However, the Council has directed the Rector to continue with his leave, which he started last Month, until October when he would hand over to the Acting Rector, Dr. Emmanuel Okumi-Andoh.
That apart, the Rector, who has two more years to retire after handing over, would continue to serve as a Lecturer of the school.
The Secretary of the Governing Council, according to reliable information, would officially write to the Rector today (Monday) to apprise him of the decision.
It is viewed that the decision smacks of demotion, particularly, when the Rector, after handing over, would continue to serve as a lecturer until he retires in two years time.
It is believed that the decision taken by the Governing Council would open room for legal action by the Rector, against the school and Council.
The Rector of the Polytechnic, Rev. Professor Daniel Nyarko, has refused to speak to The Chronicle.
When this reporter called him on phone, he said: “I will not speak to The Chronicle. You have been writing a series of stories in your paper against me, so I won’t speak.”
The decision was taken by the Governing Council comes after members of staff, at a Joint Union Meeting held on the 25th of February this year, and in a memorandum dated the 10th of April 2015 and forwarded to the Chairman of the Governing Council, proposed that the Rector of the school should embark on his two months leave for 2015, after the last congregation.
The four months of the accumulated nine months leave should be added to his two months 2015 leave, with the remaining five months considered for payments.
But, addressing a press conference on Friday, the Chairman of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), Mr. Michael Appiah, who was flanked by other aggrieved lecturers, recounted that when the decision was communicated
to the Rector, he (Rector) expressed disappointment over the conduct of the Governing Council.
According to Appiah, who is also a member of the Governing Council, Rector Nyarko told the council that he would not go on leave, and that nobody could force him to do so.
Again, he would also not accept any payment less than a corresponding value of his accumulated leave period of GH¢81,000.
Source: The Chronicle.