17th February 2020
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Lecturers demand 20% salary increment

Author: Joakino Francis | Published: 12 months ago

President Salva Kiir meeting with VCs public universities at J1 in February 2019. Photo// South Sudan Presidential Press Unit

Lecturers at the public universities are demanding pay rise.

Before the devaluation of South Sudanese Pound in 2015, a lecturer would receive roughly 7,000 dollars per month. Now, a lecturer receives approximately $130. This, they say, has affected them socioeconomically.

Previous strikes by lecturers shook the public universities due to delayed salaries, and when they demanded pay rise and better accommodation.

The five public universities; Juba, Rumbek, Upper Nile, Bahr El Ghazal, John Garang University of Science and Technology and Upper Nile University went on strike in 2016 under similar conditions of delayed three-month salaries and promised bonuses by government.

They told the press that their unpaid salaries- at the time -totaling nearly 28 million South Sudanese pounds ($4.6 million)

But the new strike which was proposed in a meeting of the Vice Chancellors yesterday in Juba, demanded a 20% increment in the lecturers current salary structure.

“The current salary structure was established in 2015, so what we did is to take the current structure in SSP and convert it into USD. For a professor, it will be about 6,864,” said Dhieu Chol, Financial Advisor at the University of Juba.

“So we are talking [about] only 20% of that in USD… and that comes out to be about $1,431, and when you convert that into SSP, it gives you about SSP 221,805.”

Professor John Akech – the Vice Chancellor of the University of Juba said such minimal wage forced many of the teaching staff out of the profession.

He said prior to the devaluation of the SSP in 2015, a full time professor would receive $7,100 a month -at the official bank rate.

“Today if you convert the money at official rate, a full professor is getting $136. So that is a huge decline,” said Akech.

He said a full-time professor receives about $5,000 a month, Rwanda, $4,500, while in Kenya the salary stands at $3,600.

Last month, President Salva Kiir met with newly appointed Vice Chancellors and deputies of the public universities at the state house where he was quoted by the State House Press Unit assuring the VC of his commitment to solve some of the challenges facing the smooth running of the universities.

“We are part of East Africa, this has cause problems, [but] a lot of staff have actually deserted and some when to NGOs,” Prof. Akech concluded.

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