Lecturers at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) have boycotted classes as of Monday over employment contract grievances.
They claimed that there was no employment contract for both none and academic staff when Solomon Island College of Higher Education (SICHE) was transformed to SINU.
Lecturers Association of Solomon Islands National University (LASINU) in their meeting yesterday confirmed they have boycotted classes and will submit their timeframe of action this Friday to the SINU management for consideration.
According to their timeline by February 12 they will submit positions to Human Resource Council (HRC) committee and in house negotiation will take place.
On February 19, HRC prepares a motion to present to council while on February 26 the council will meet to deliberate on the motion and endorse the reviewed Minimum Qualification Requirement (MQR) for staff placement. On March 5 an update of staff placement, on March 26 a submission of revised staff placement to council for endorsement and on April 2 grievances process and signing of the contract.
The association said, that their employment contract is a long overdue issue and they feel that their job is not secured.
“During the time of our transition from SICHE to SINU we were asked for redundancy but the management never consider our request but allow us to serve at the institution without signing any contracts.
“This is ridiculous.
“Even the management hardly inform us about the SINU Act before it was passed in 2012 without consulting our staff’s consensus.
“This (SINU 2012 act) got us trapped and we were victimize with most of us (staff) our job is not secure but living us in suspense,” they said.
They admitted that the management not even train them well while at SICHE to equip them with skills and knowledge fitting them in at the University level.
“Thus we are calling on the management to be serious about this issue,” they said.
LASINU executive revealed that they have submitted several documents to the management to consider last year and recently last Friday but nothing happens.
“With this outstanding issue, last year, first semester we hold all students grades and during the second semester we suspended semester two classes.”
The LASINU staff added, that they have boycott classes since Monday this week and that will go on till the management act up on their request to address the standing issue.
“This is not an issue from last week. It’s was since 2013.
“We issue a letter to the SINU management late last year appealing that we want to sign a contract before January 1st but nothing happens.
“This was not an issue the management would be blind of but they all well aware of it but just neglected it,” they stated.
They said, their only fear is the institution will witness a reduction of its intake for this semester if SINU is not mindful of its decisions.
“With the signing of the SINU 2012 Act, they (SINU management) never consult us and not even take into account staff experience.
“This was an overdue issue adding to contracts are very important to us otherwise we might miss out from such benefits and will live us all in uncertainty,” they added.
Meanwhile, they said that the SINU employee and SINU council have met with LASINU on Monday to look at alternatives or possible solutions.
“At the moment we reduce all our engagements while in the process of finding the best solutions to sort out this quickly otherwise all classes will be remain boycotted.”
When contacted last night SINU Pro-vice Chancellor (academic) Dr. Patricia Rodie decline to comment saying only the Vice Chancellor can respond to such issues relating to the current situation at SINU.
Attempts to reach for comment from the SINU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Glyn Galo was prove futile yesterday before this paper went to print last night.
By STEPHEN DI’ISANGO