Minister of Education, Science and Technology Emmanuel Fabiano has announced an end to the dispute over salary disparities between the University of Malawi (Unima) Council and Chancellor College (Chanco) lecturers.
A statement signed by Fabiano, which the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology made available to The Nation at about 8:30pm, said after a day-long meeting between government and a task force instituted to resolve the stand-off that led to the closure of Chanco, the differences have been resolved amicably.
The minister has since said all constituent colleges of the Unima will resume normal functions.
He further said he expected Chanco management to make a statement within the next two days on the opening of the college
Chancellor College Academic Staff Union (Ccasu) chairperson Anthony Gunde said his colleagues who attended the meeting confirmed that the disagreement has been resolved.
Speaking in a separate interview, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology spokesperson Lindiwe Chide confirmed that the meeting reached an agreement.
She, however, said more details will be made available to the public later.
President Peter Mutharika on Sunday dissolved the Unima Council, accusing it and Unima management of failing to resolve the labour dispute.
In a statement released on Sunday evening and signed by presidential secretary and spokesperson Mgeme Kalirani, the President said he directed the government to mediate the impasse.
Chanco academic staff have been on strike to force their employer resolve salary disparities among staff in similar grades in Unima’s four constituent colleges of Chanco, The Malawi Polytechnic, Kamuzu College of Nursing and the College of Medicine (CoM).
Last week, Polytechnic lecturers announced they will join the strike from July 1 2017.
The standoff over salary harmonization took a twist recently when Ccasu rejected Unima Council’s proposal to refer the matter to the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) on the basis that both parties had not yet commenced dialogue on recommendations made by arbitrator Modecai Msisha.
According to the University of Malawi Act (1998), the direct management of Unima rests with the University Council supported by the vice-chancellor and his management. The legal framework also applies to other public universities in Malawi, namely Mzuzu University (Mzuni), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) and Malawi university of Science and Technology (Must).