By Holyce Kholowa
ZOMBA-Support staff from University of Malawi’s (Unima) Chancellor College on Tuesday vowed to proceed with their sit-in to pressure management to meet their 25 percent salary increment pledge.
Unima Council last year pledged to adjust the workers’ salaries by 25 percent, starting with a 13 percent payout while the remaining 12 percent was expected to be paid by January 2018.
However, management reportedly failed to implement its promise, a development that forced the workers to give the council a 21-day ultimatum which was not honoured.
On Tuesday, Unima Workers Trade Union (UWTU) president Mike Namandwa and his executive committee members were locked in a day-long meeting with Unima Council over the issue, but they reportedly failed to reach a consensus.
Among others, management pleaded with the support staff members to return to work as the issue was being resolved, but the workers said they would not do so until, their grievances are met.
Attempts to talk to Namandwa proved futile as his phone went unanswered despite several attempts, but one of the protesting members who opted for anonymity said they had agree to proceed with the protest.
“In June 2017, the University’s Workers Trade Union demanded 25 percent salary increment for the support staff and in October the council only met 13 p percent increment. We were told that by January this year the remaining 12 percent increment would be implemented but to no avail.
“Therefore, we gave them a 21 day ultimatum to address our issue but nothing materialised. We gave them another seven days and still there was no response that is why we have resolved to down tools,” explained the worker.
Unima communications officer Alfred Banda said he did not attend the meeting on Tuesday, as such; he needed more time to consult the registrar before commenting on the matter.
But Students Union of Chancellor College (Succ) president Raphael Nedi expressed distress over the sit-in.
“We are monitoring the situation with keen interest and we will take unspecified action if the issue is not resolved with urgency,” he said.
Last year, Unima clashed with academic staff from constituent colleges who demanded addressing of a disparity in packages and equal pay for people with equal qualification and positions in the institutions.