Mulungushi University warns lecturers over ‘go slow’

CHAMBO NG’UNI, Kapiri Mposhi
THE salary negotiation stand-off between lecturers and management at Mulungushi University has taken a new twist with the institution issuing cautionary letters and warning aggrieved workers of stern sanctions should they down tools.
Mulungushi University management is offering a five percent salary increment, but the lecturers are demanding a 13 percent increment across the board.
The cautionary letters dated June 3, 2015, issued by acting registrar Gubula Siaciti and copied to Mulungushi University vice-chancellor Hellicy Ng’ambi, warn lecturers of stern action should they withdraw labour again.
“Further be informed that the council has directed that in future, any illegal withdrawal of labour shall be met with sanctions including deduction of money for the day not worked,” the letter reads in part.
Mr Siaciti said the withdrawal of labour by lecturers between May 12 and 22, 2015, was illegal because they did not comply with provisions of the law.
And speaking at a press brief yesterday at Mulungushi University, Copperbelt University Academics Union (CBUAU) president Mwiya Songolo said his union will collect the cautionary letters and return them to management.
Mr Songolo said the act by management was meant to intimidate lecturers but it will not deter them from demanding what they want.
“Management decided to issue our members with cautionary letters to instil fear in us so that we don’t withdraw labour if our demands are not met when we go back to the bargaining table on Wednesday.
And speaking to journalists, Prof Ng’ambi said cautionary letters were not meant to intimidate lecturers but to remind them to follow the law and take into account the interest of students.
“There is no intimidation in that letter at all. It was a directive from the council,” Prof Ng’ambi said.
She implored lecturers to be reasonable with their demands, saying Mulungushi University is experiencing financial challenges because their main source of income is student fees.
Prof Ng’ambi said it would be unwise for management to award salary increments which they cannot afford to pay.
She said since negotiations are still going on, it is important for the two parties to dialogue bearing in mind the interests of the university and students.

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