University lecturers give notice for industrial action in 21 days
Lecturers at the self-declared home of academic freedom, the Chancellor College (Chanco), have declared dispute, giving government 21 days to resolve disagreements over salary increment or they will down tools.
The lecturers declared the dispute through Chancellor College Academic Staff Union (Ccasu) at a consultative meeting the union’s representatives had with University of Malawi (Unima) management on Wednesday in Zomba.
The union’s president Sunduzwayo Madise said on Thursday they sent a memo to Ministry of Labour immediately after the Wednesday meeting with the Unima management, giving it 21 days to resolve their concerns or else they will go on strike.
Madise says his union will no longer engage government on the salary dispute as that role is now in the hands of Unima management.
Lecturers at a fellow constituent college of Unima, the Polytechnic, are already on strike from Monday last week. They and their Chanco colleagues are demanding a 113 percent salary adjustment. Mzuzu University (Mzuni) lecturers are also on strike but are demanding a 21 percent salary increment.
Labour Minister Eunice Makangala says she has not yet seen the memo from Chanco and will only comment after looking at it.
If the matter remains unresolved at the expiry of the 21-day
notice, education will once again be disrupted as was the case last year when the academic freedom battle took eight months to resolve.
The Polytechnic Academic Staff Committee on Welfare (Pascow) secretary general Gift Khangamwa says the college’s position remains intact after the Chanco’s meeting in Zomba.
He says the Zomba meeting was consultative and several other issues, apart from the salary dispute, were raised.