SINU PROTEST LOOMS - Solomon Star News


06 August 2020
Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ganesh Chand.

MEMBERS of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) staff will ‘withdraw all services’ for an indefinite period starting next week in protest to remove the Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ganesh Chand.

The move was agreed upon by members of the Lecturer Association of Solomon Islands National University (LASINU) and the Solomon Islands National University General Staff Union (SINUGSU) during an urgent meeting on Wednesday.

Reports reaching the paper said members of the two unions met at the main lecture theater, Kukum Campus at 4 pm.

At the meeting, they voted unanimously for ‘withdrawal of services’ beginning next Monday 10th August, a member of the union confirmed last night.

“The proposed action is confirmed and I think the public needs to know about what's going on with our university.

“The proposed action is set to commence on Monday 10th August in protest to remove the controversial Vice-Chancellor (VC) from office,” the staff who declined to be named said. 

Early last month on the 3rd of July SINU staff also withdrew their services.

Most of the staff only resumed duties after the matter was referred to the TDP.

The decision to go on strike came after the TDP this week referred the matter back to the SINU Council.

“TDP returned the matter to SINU Council after a ruling on Tuesday. 

“TDP has no power to suspend the VC upon investigation. Only SINU Council has the power,” the staff member.

Another union member said members of the two unions cannot work with the current VC given the allegations leveled against him which the SINU Council failed to investigate and act upon.

“The only solution now is to protest,” the staff member said.

The two union executives will today put in writing their stand to the SINU Council, another member of the union said last night.

“Our stand is for the VC to be suspended to allow for an investigation.” 

The staff has accused the vice-chancellor over a number of allegations related:

  1. Financial mismanagement and abuse of procurement processes;

  2. Influencing payment of consultants with incomplete work;

  3. Recruiting his own relatives/wantoks to positions that could be filled locally;

  4. Copy and paste of Fiji National University policies;

  5. Spying of staff emails; and

  6. Abuse of recruitment/conflict of interest.

Two of the union presidents could not be reached for comment last night.

If the lecturers withdraw their services next week, lectures and examinations are likely to be affected, something which has concerned many students already.

Estee Lonamei Public Relations Office at the VC office declined to comment when contacted last night.

He said the SINU management will issue an official statement later.

The council chair or any of its members could not be reached for comment before this edition went to press last night.