Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) has asked its members to be calm and not get involved in the current stand-off between their lecturers and their employers, the University of Malawi (Unima) Council.
PSU has further informed the students that it is continuing its engagement with the Unima Council and all relevant stakeholders to get them to intervene in their situation.
Reads in part a PSU statement issued yesterday: “University Council has informed the PSU that it is having advanced negotiations to see us back to class at the earliest possible time. The union will not rest in engaging and negotiating with the relevant authorities until the University Council fulfils its words.”
Efforts to talk to Polytechnic Academic Staff Committee on Welfare (Pascow) chairperson Abel Mwanyungwe to get the academic staff ’s stand on the issue yesterday proved futile as his phones were unavailable.
On Monday, in an earlier interview with The Nation, Mwanyungwe denied that the lecturers are on strike.
He, however, indicated that the lecturers had gotten feedback from the university council on their grievances and lecturers would discuss it and map the way forward at a meeting which was scheduled for Tuesday.
The Polytechnic lecturers withdrew their teaching services starting from Monday because they did not get any communication or feedback from their employer on demands of salary adjustment which they are pressing for.
The strike started barely a week after the college’s opening for the second semester. In January last year, the Polytechnic’s opening for second semester was also postponed to an unknown date after the lecturers withdrew their services demanding a pay rise and arrears. The lecturers refused a 36 percent offer on condition that arrears are guaranteed.