USL lecturers strike, demand re-instatement of University Court


By Ishmael Dumbuya

A letter written by the Union of Academic Staff Association (UASA), to the Ministry of Tertiary and Higher Education, has notified the public about the decision of the UASA to revoke the previous suspension of the industrial action and staging a 7 days nationwide strike.

While there has been an impasse between the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education and the University Court in regards to the appointment of Pro-Vice Chancellor, UASA also requested the immediate resolution of the said impasse and the re-instatement of the University of the Sierra Leone Court.

“Please note that members of the Academic Staff Academic Staff Association will be constrained to take any instruction from anyone appointed outside the provisions of the Universities Act of 2021, appertaining to academic functions that require the attention of the USL Senate and Court,” the letter reads.

According to the letter, the decision was unanimously taken after the university and polytechnic authorities failed to address their concerns against the deadline of 29th February, 2024.

The letter noted that since last year August, they had raised several concerns, including payment of backlogs, salaries for promoted staff, payment of revised rent and medical allowances and payment of benefits, and had had several engagements with the university and polytechnic authorities on the said issues leading to the lifting of their proposed protest, but nothing seemed to have come out of all those engagements’.  

Because of the delay in addressing their challenges, UASA informed the university and polytechnic authorities that the endurance of its membership has reached its limit and have deemed it necessary to use the only option that could make the authorities respond to their needs without any further delay.

In a unanimous resolution, it was decided that UASA would withhold its services with immediate effect until 8 March 2024. This decision aims to compel authorities to fulfill commitments, including the payment of severance benefits, backlog of promoted staff, as well as revised rent and medical allowances.

The letter underscored that UASA therefore declared full implementation of industrial action and instructed all its member institutions to comply with the declaration

Now with the current feud between USL and the Tertiary Education Ministry, the issue of welfare for staff has only thrown fuel into the fire, thereby undermining and delaying the operations of students and the University at large.


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