Upper Nile University lecturers call off strike

By William Madouk Garang

The Academic Staff Association at the Upper Nile University has officially called off their week-long strike.

While formally announcing end of the strike, Vice Chancellor of the Upper Nile University, Prof. Marial Awou appreciated the association for accepting his administration’s call.

He urged the academic staff to pick up from where they left before the strike.

“The indefinite strike announced by the teaching staff association of the university has been lifted. All students are asked to resume their normal lectures in their various faculties immediately” Prof. Awou said during a joint press conference in Juba on Tuesday.

“Dialogue is the only means to resolve any given problem. I therefore appreciate the association for accepting the call for ending the strike for second time” he further acknowledged.

The Professor stressed that, his administration has been resolving difficulties through dialogue. Similar strike was staged by the association last December, but was called off at a time when the University was preparing for the 3rd graduation ceremony.

“This time as well, they accepted and called it off. We appreciate this cooperation and coordination as we continue following up with their demands with relevant institutions” he added.

The Chairperson of academic staff, Dr. Pio Kur Deng admitted the association decided to end the walkout from duty after continued discussion with administration and consideration of students’ appeal.

Dr. Deng said the strike is on hold and urged the teaching staff to resume their lectures in the various faculties while pursuing their demands.

“Lifting the indefinite strike does not mean we stopped following our demands on salary adjustment and the travel tickets fare. We are still continuing to follow our demand until they are fulfilled,” he added.

Don Deng stressed that the decision came in to effect after continued discussion in the executive office together with the council of the association and university’s administration plus students.

“It was not an easy decision to make. There are many factors we had acknowledged and put into consideration. The petition raised and requested by our own students who stood with us over the matter to the extent even calling the government to fulfill them, were the reasons behind this decision,” he clarified.

Meanwhile, the Guild President of Upper Nile University, Atong Chol Thon on behalf of the students expressed her thankfulness and appreciation to the lecturers for calling of the strike.

Ms. Atong said now they will no longer fear of any academic calendar interruption any more.  

“We are so grateful and happy that we are going to resume our lectures todays. And I believe our academic calendar is not going to be affected in any way. We are going to finish as soon as possible because this is our 2nd semester” Atong said.   

“I believe in the lecturers of Upper Nile University. Although they are not given their money, they do their job. So, I believe they are going to do their best,” she commended.

The academic staff at the Upper Nile University laid down their tools on January 2, 2023. They cited delays in the salaries review and tickets arrears for the last three years being the reason behind it (strike).

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