By Ralph Sesay (PRO Njala University)
The Academic Staff Association (ASA) of Njala University has on Wednesday 2nd September,2020 suspended an industrial strike action announced on the 21st August,2020 after a meeting with their plenary at Towama Bo Campus.
A release from the Association earlier on Wednesday agreed that ASA suspends the strike action till the end of the second semester, December 2020 to give the University Administration ample time to address the eleven point issues raised in their press release.
The release was clear that ASA will revoke the strike action after a day’s notice if at the beginning of next academic year the University authority fails to address their demands.
The Academic Staff Association down their tools a week ago amidst concerns around payment of the annual leave allowance, payment of benefits to retirees and deceased colleagues, honouring emoluments due newly promoted staff members, review of the Conditions of Services which has stalled for a number of years and general working conditions were some of the reasons advanced by the Association for the industrial strike action.
ASA further requested that they would only resume normal services to the University if they have audience with President Bio.
Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, Mallam .O. succeeded in deferring the strike action planned for Monday 24thAugust,2020 which coincidentally was the start of the Final year Comprehensive Examinations with a view to get ASA to meet the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education to start the necessary dialogue.
On Friday 28th August, 2020 ASA met with the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education alongside the University Administration in Freetown and a number of resolutions were agreed upon including the possibility of subsuming the concerns of ASA into a bail out for the attention of the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, his Deputy Vice Chancellors for Njala and Bo Campuses and his entire administration were pleased that the strike has been lifted and the final Year Examinations and other university functions would continue.