18th January 2021
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Bahr el Ghazal university lecturers down tools over unpaid salaries

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, December 14, 2020

Entrance of the University of Bahr el Ghazal | Credit | Gurtong

The academic staff of the University of Bahr el Ghazal in Wau has started a one-week strike, demanding unpaid salaries.

The teaching staff downed their tools this morning in protest of eight-month salary arrears.

“The teaching staff of the University of Bahr el Ghazal sat on Saturday and they declared a unilateral strike which commenced today until the 22nd of this month,” Joseph Ohure, the Secretary-General of Bah el Ghazal University Academic Staff General Assembly said on Monday.

“The reason for this strike is we have spent almost nine months now without salaries that is why the general assembly of the teaching staff has declared to go on strike.”

Mr Ohure says the strike will continue for seven days and then indefinitely — if their salaries are not paid.

About 1,500 students at the campus will be affected by the decision.

The students are said to be preparing for examinations beginning early January.

Mr. Ohure appealed to the ministry of finance and the ministry of higher education to clear the arrears for them to resume work.

“We are not targeting our students but we are placing our concerns to the authorities to settle our dues. If they are able to settle our dues on time, we shall resume with lectures and examinations.”

Lecturers in the other five public universities have also gone for eight months without pay.

Two weeks ago, the Deans’ Board of the University of Juba appealed to the ministry of finance to pay arrears of eight months to all public university lecturers.

The five public universities are the University of Juba, Dr. John Garang University of Science and Technology, in Bor, Rumbek University, the University of Bahr El-Ghazal in Wau, and Upper Nile University.

According to Mr. Ohure, a professor receives about 500,000 SSP and a teaching assistant earns about 125,000, while a lecturer gets about 250,000 SSP per month.

The lowest-paid staff are technicians just at about 100,000 SSP.

The hard-fought increment was effected in December 2019 following years of complaints by public university lecturers over low pay.

It is a significant increase from the previous salary structure where a professor earned an equivalent of about 150 US dollars per month.

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