National, News

Varsity dons issue ultimatum over salary arrears

By William Madouk


Lecturers at the University of Bahr el Ghazal have given a three-day ultimatum for the finance ministry to pay their five-month salary arrears or else lay down their tools effective next week, Wednesday 7, 2024.

The don’s demands also included four-year flight tickets, medical allowances, and one-month arrears.

Rabie Adam Hamed, the chairperson of the Worker Trade Union at the university, in a letter addressed to Mr. Bak Barnaba Chol, the national minister of finance, urged him to comply with the lecturers’ demands.

“We would like to notify the office of the honorable minister of finance and economic planning to find a possible solution to the resolution of the general assembly of the University of Bahr el Ghazal held on Thursday, February 2, 2024,” said Hamed.

“To pay the following demands: five months of salaries (September, October, November, December, and January 2024 plus one month of salary arrears for June 2023), four years of flight tickets (2020 up to 2023), and medical coverage,” he highlighted.

According to Hamed, the staff members would be forced to lay down their tools if the afore-mentioned demands were not met by the government.

“We are giving a three-day warning starting from February 1st, 2024, up to February 6th, 2024. If there is no positive response until Tuesday, 6/2/2024, the second stage of the strike for seven days will begin on Wednesday, 7/2/2024.”

The union reached this agreement after the General Assembly conducted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2204.

On January 20, 2023, the Vice Chancellor for the University of Bahr el Ghazal (UBG), Prof. Victor Loku Kwajok, issued an order for the indefinite dissolution of the executive body of the Academic Staff Association, citing the body’s failure to attend a joint meeting.

This came Just days after lecturers from two public universities, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile, went on strike, demanding a salary review to cater for inflation, annual tickets, and salary allowance arrears.

In an administrative order dated January 6, 2023, the Vice Chancellor for UBG issued an order dissolving the Academic Staff Association.

Reacting to the matter, the chairperson of the academic staff association at the university, Joseph Lual Dario, said they denounced the move and called for the immediate revocation of the decision.

“This academic staff association is an independent body that did not register under the administration of the University of Bahr el Ghazal. Therefore, the Vice Chancellor has no right to remove or appoint the executive members of the academic staff association,” he said.

Dario pointed out that the staff association at the University of Bahr el Ghazal was registered at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and not the Ministry of Higher Education.

“The University of Bahr el Ghazal is no longer using the 1995 Act to run its affairs but using the UBG Act 2013, which means it’s unlawful to quote the 1995 Act as a reference to dissolve the ASA.”

Mr. Dario said the joint meeting was not communicated earlier to the executive, adding that the letter was received at 9:48 a.m. while the meeting was supposed to be at 10:00 a.m.




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