By William Madouk Garang
The academic staff association at the Upper Nile University have laid down their tools citing the delays in the revision of salaries and three-year annual tickets arrears.
All teaching staff at Upper Nile Varsity comprising of professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers have said they will not return to class till last dime is paid.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the academic staff chairperson, Dr. Pio Kur Deng, said over 500 lecturers would stop discharging their duties on Tuesday (today) until their demands are fully met.
“We had a meeting today[yesterday], and we have come out with the decision that we are going for an open strike which is ‘indefinite industrial action’-The open strike is until we receive our adjusted salaries and annual tickets,” Deng said.
“Our demand is not only the adjustment of the salaries but we are also demanding for the annual tickets which was approved in July 2019, unfortunately we did not receive it until today,” he added.
According to him, lecturers want their salaries adjusted to the current central bank rates which is 6.29 per one dollar.
“The inflation is high and the current rate is 6.29 per one dollar and we are demanding that our salaries be adjusted based on this rate,” Deng noted.
Deng further cited that, some time back they wrote a letter to the Ministry of Higher Education in which the minister tabled the demand before service cluster for approval, and economic cluster.
He noted that two clusters approved the salary amendment and the ball now is at court of the cabinet.
“The process is going but there is still pressure but also we still pressure the Ministry of Higher Education to speed up the process of the adjustment of the salaries,” Professor Deng noted.
“We are expecting to receive our 3 years tickets [arrears] first and then the adjustment will be done because this is a process,” he continued.
When asked about the fate of the students, Mr. Deng said students will stand with them because the peanut salary lecturers received are not up to living standards due to economic inflation.
“The dollar is high and we are receiving an amount that of course cannot cover our demands so they said that they will stand with us as students,”
On November 8, 2022, the academic staff at the University of Bahr El Ghazal also laid down their tools citing delays in the salaries review and tickets arrears.
“We shall have three-day strike from Tuesday … the resumption of work will be on November 11, 2022, in which we will continue for a week. The next industrial action will be disclosed thereafter if no answer is received from the government,” the staff welfare chairperson Joseph Lual said.
“We are out of patience as an academic association, and therefore we have declared an industrial action,” he added.