President Peter Mutharika has bemoaned the impact of continued sit-in by Chancellor College (Chanco) academic staff and has since pledged to continue engaging concerned stakeholders on the need to resume work.
Mutharika on Friday separately met Chancellor College student’s concerned parents and executive committee of the Teachers Association of Malawi (TUM) at State House in Lilongwe.
The two groups had separately requested for an audience with Mutharika.
The President’s meeting with TUM came a day after the teachers called off their strike through which they were demanding government to pay them their leave grants.
During the meeting, TUM executive committee expressed concerns on delays by government to release teachers’ leave grants for the year 2016/17.
President Mutharika regretted the delay but assured the teachers that government has tirelessly been working on the problem and that as of 16th June 2017, funds for the teacher’s leave grants had been transferred from the treasury to respective district councils across the country, and that teachers in several districts had started accessing them.
President Mutharika assured the teachers that government would swiftly move to find the underlying cause of the technical hitches that reportedly led to the delays in the processing of the leave grants and that corrective technical and administrative measures will be taken.
During the meeting with the representatives of Chancellor College students’ concerned parents, the parents said were disappointed at the prolonged labour dispute between University of Malawi (Unima) Council and the college’s academic staff.
The college has been closed for almost three months now as academic staffs are protesting over pay disparity among Unima constituent colleges.
The Parents indicated that they were further disappointed with the apparent failure of the Unima Council to resolve the dispute on time.
The Parents said as much as they were aware that the legal mandate to manage the University of Malawi rests in the Council, nonetheless requested Mutharika to help in resolving the matter.
Mutharika said was equally concerned about the closure of the college and the impact it has on the future of students at the college and the nation in the end.
President Mutharika assured the parents that within the limits of his mandate and capacity as Unima Chancellor and President of the country, he will continue to relentlessly engage relevant stakeholders on the matter to ensure that the labour dispute between the Council and the academic staff is resolved with speed to enable the college reopen.
Lecturers at Chanco, a constituent college of Unima alongside their colleagues at the Polytechnic, Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) and the College of Medicine (CoM), want Unima to resolve salary disparities among staff in similar grades in the four colleges as they are protesting the fact that some staff at the College of Medicine (CoM) get about 40 percent extra pay compared to their colleagues in similar grades at Unima’s other constituent colleges.
But Unima registrar Benedicto Okomaatani Malunga justified the arrangement, arguing it has been in existence since 1991 when College of Medicine was established by Professor John Chimphangwi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :