Support staff at Lilongwe University for Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) are rejecting calls to call off their strike and return to work, putting the opening of the institution for the second semester in limbo.
The support staff are demanding salary increase among other demands which have forced them to stage a sit in to force management act on the demands.
Luanar support, clerical and technical staff want management to effect a 10 percent salary raise as announced by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development when he delivered the 2019/20 National Budget Statement in Parliament in September 2019.
President of Luanar Workers Union, Steve Maloya said they will not give in to anything until their demand for a pay hike effective this month is honoured.
He said the staff also want the university’s management to harmonise their salaries with those of other public universities.
“We need a full salary harmonisation with the University of Malawi [Unima] and other public universities. On top of that, we need the 10 percent increase this month not in March. The academic staff withdrew, but we are continuing with the strike until our demands are met,” he said.
According to Maloya, Luanar salaries differ from those of other universities for the same grade by 12 to 30 percent.
Luanar Students Union president Frank Mwakila said they could not report for classes in the absence of the support staff who are crucial in the academic studies of the students.
But one of the support staff members said the students could not report for classes because the college is facing a water crisis.
“They should not blame us for their failure to go to the college. They should blame the management for their failure to fix the water problem,” said the president of the support staff Union.
Luanar registrar Phillip Kaonda said management told the striking staff that they will only effect the 10 percent increase in March next year with arrears from July 2019.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :