University staff, students asked to resume work, classes
By ESTHER NURIA
THE impasse between the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) staff and the vice-chancellor is now before the Trade Dispute Panel (TDP) for further deliberation.
This was confirmed by the university’s communication office yesterday when announcing that all lectures will resume as of this morning.
In an announcement to the students on Tuesday, the university said: “Dear students and staff, lectures will resume as normal as of tomorrow (today) Wednesday 8th July 2020).”
The staff, led by their two associations –Lecturers Association of Solomon Islands National University (LASINU) and Solomon Islands National University General Staff Association (SINUGSA) – demanded the removal of the vice chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand from Fiji.
When contacted the SINU communication office confirmed that all classes will resume today while every allegation against Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ganesh Chand goes before the trade dispute panel for full investigations.
“The hearing of the allegations will be on 13th July next week. The number one concern here is for our students to resume their classes, therefore students and lectures will resume classes tomorrow (today),” said the statement from SINU yesterday.
In an email sent to all SINU Faculty Deans yesterday, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and acting Faculty of Education & Humanities Dean, Dr. Jack Maebuta has informed all Deans to inform their staff to resume work while the matter goes before TDP.
“The current impasse between the two Unions and SINU council has been referred to Trade Dispute Panel for a preliminary hearing on 13 July 10 am.
“Under Section 10 of the Trade Dispute Act when a dispute is before the panel striking parties must resume duties,” the PVC said.
“Therefore, it compliance to this please advise your staff to go back to classes tomorrow,” he said.
Reports said the two staff association agreed for the case to be dealt with by TDP following a series of meetings.
Since the row began many students have expressed concerns about the effects of this standoff on their studies because they were denied access to the library, computer labs, and classrooms.
The two SINU staff associations on Friday 3 July boycotted work following lack of action taken by the SINU Council to listen to their demand.
The staff accused Mr. Chand of financial mismanagement and abuse of procurement and recruitment processes.
Mr. Chand who is currently in Fiji has denied all the allegations leveled against him.
The Council Chair Dr. Culwick Togamana last week said he has no power to remove the VC except the full council.
It’s likely the outcome of the TDP hearing next Monday will determine the next course of action to be taken by the staff.