Academic and non-academic staff of the University of Livingstonia (Unilia) have gone on strike, warning they will only return to work if their conditions of services are improved and three of their top managers are fired.
Last month, the staff petitioned Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP general secretary the Reverend Levi Nyondo, accusing the institution’s top management of failing to protect their welfare, govern the university by agreed systems and procedures as well as cultivate a mutually-respectful professional relationship with them.
They demanded immediate dismissal of vice-chancellor Professor Yohane Nyasulu, registrar Peter Kayira and finance officer Francis Kumwenda. They also demanded a 60 percent salary increment, re-introduction of overtime allowances and adherence to conditions of service.
While the academic staff gave the university up to March 20 to resolve the issues, the support staff had set March 15 as deadline, failing which they warned to withdraw labour, which they have done.
In an interview yesterday, a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity from the university’s Ekwendeni Campus in Mzimba, said the synod leadership had failed to resolve the matter, hence their decision to strike.
“Our petitions were very clear, these people are victimising us and we wanted a change. But the synod and university management have failed to resolve the issues, so we have from Friday last week withdrawn labour,” said the source.
Another source from Robert Laws Campus also confirmed the development, saying they were looking forward to the synod to come up with solutions to their plight.
When contacted, Reverend Nyondo said they were still discussing the matter and asked to be called later. However, when called at the agreed time, Nyondo’s phone could not be reached.
In one petition, the academic staff also accused the three (Nyasulu, Kumwenda and Kayira) of delaying remittance of their pension money and that they were sidelined when they hiked their salaries by a range of 100 to 200 percent.
Unilia was established by the Synod of Livingstonia on August 23 2003. n