By Gladys Fred Kole
Lecturers at University of Bahr El Ghazal have from Wednesday effected their planned sit-down strike after the ministry of finance and planning failed to heed a call to meet their demands.
Last week, the lecturers had given a three-day ultimatum for the finance ministry to pay their five-month salary arrears or else lay down tools.
Professor Joseph Lual Dario, from the University of Bahr El Ghazal told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the lecturers are on industrial action.
“Right now, since Wednesday, we have not been working; we are on strike, and the administration is now trying its best to go and bring the one-month money,” he said.
He said that after their earlier call, the administration only processed one month’s salary, yet they demanded for five months’ pay plus arrears.
“They are in the process of getting the one month; they didn’t say when they were going to clear the other months and the arrears.” Lual stated.
Professor Lual and members of the general assembly of lecturers have refused the government’s appeal for the university to resume its work normally.
According to the letter of resolution by members of the general assembly, even if the one-month salary is given, they will receive it and continue with their industrial action.
The disgruntled lecturers also urged the government to pay attention, pay their arrears as soon as possible, and allow the issue of lack of salary pay every year to become history.
“It is not good to see our government behave like that; as if we are begging, we in academia are just focusing on lecturing and giving the material to the students while our children are also suffering on the other side. It is not good for us alone; even other civil servants are worse than us.” Lual expressed.
The lecturers’ demands also included four-year flight tickets, medical allowances, and one-month arrears.
Rabie Adam Hamed, the chairperson of the Workers Trade Union at the university, in the letter earlier addressed to Mr. Bak Barnaba Chol, the national minister of finance, urged him to comply with the lecturers’ demands.
“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,” said Hamed.
However, No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper could not easily access the National Minister of Finance and planning for comments.