By Yankuba Jallow
In an extra-ordinary congress organised by the University of The Gambia Faculty and Staff Association on Monday, 28th June, the overwhelming majority of the staff agreed to embark on a sit-down strike amid some problems at the country’s sole national university.
Over a hundred staff of the university on Monday attended the congress to discuss pressing issues affecting them and their respective schools and faculties.
Only six staff voted against the strike, saying it should be delayed until after the students’ examination which is scheduled to start sometime next month.
Here are the demands:
1. Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology to pay UTG the over D150 million arrears owed in full
2. The Interim University of The Gambia Governing Council to be dissolved and replaced with a substantive Governing Council. It has been an interim body for four years or so.
3. The Registrar to completely hand over the UTG Human Resource administration back to the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources is to report to the Deputy Vice Chancellor administration and/or the Vice Chancellor
4. Replacement of retired Deans or Acting Deans and Heads of Department that are heading positions in the University; that the UTG conditions of service does not allow them to hold a university office.
5. Holders of double positions at the UTG should relinquish one.
a. Holding of double positions in the UTG is dyeing potential qualified staff from applying or occupying those positions
6. Election of Deans and Head of Departments (HODs).
a. Majority of the Dean and HODs are in acting capacities without confirmation. They should either be confirmed or their positions be filled
7. Establishment of Staff Tribunal at the UTG
a. The UTG Staff has no independent tribunal to recourse to when their rights are violated. The establishment of the Staff Tribunal will ensure that staff rights are protected and respected.
8. Independent audit of the UTG Salary Scale and grades to ensure fairness in the payments
a. There are many inconsistencies in the salaries paid to individuals less or more than the prescribed scales.
9. The Position of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Admin & Finance be advertised
10. The advertisement of the Vice-Chancellor to be put to hold until the proper procedures are followed. It has to be advertised for 12 months as required by the UTG laws.