THE University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union says members of staff are owed contractual obligations dating back to December 2010.
In a statement yesterday, UNZALARU publicity secretary Moffat Moyo stated that the money owed to staff had been a subject of discussion with both the government and management but that there had not been any tangible agreement on it.
He stated that following the deadlock, UNZALARU resolved to undertake a go-slow until all demands advanced in their meetings were met.
“The University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU) wishes to inform the general public that in a meeting held on 11 September 2018, members of the union resolved to go slow following several unresolved issues. As the public might be aware, staff is owed contractual obligations dating to as far back as December 2010. We have even learnt that there are plans to circumvent the policy on the payment of the said monies, which is very sad,” Moyo stated.
He accused management of deliberately preventing eligible staff from getting promoted for fear of an increased wage bill.
“The public may further wish to know that since January 2018, the union has been making attempts to begin negotiations for conditions of service for 2018. Management has not been forthcoming on this. The union was recently informed that government has instructed management to begin negotiations for fringe benefits and not the salary. It seems there is a scheme to deny staff a salary increment which is not only overdue and has already lost value but also needed at a time of the worst form of hardships experienced by all Zambians through increased taxes and many other ways of spending on what we cannot even count,” Moyo stated.
“Management has also deliberately prevented eligible staff from getting promoted for fear of an increased wage bill. It has gone as far as tampering with the tool that was approved by the University Council so that they prevent staff from getting promoted. Management is even guilty of making changes the moment it is noticed that a certain number of people qualify for promotion.”
Apart from demanding contractual obligations, UNZALARU is seeking the commencement of negotiations for the year 2018.
“As much as it is known by staff that this is a way of escaping the responsibility of paying for promoted staff, it remains embarrassing because this is happening in a university where staff work very hard to conduct research where no research funds are provided. University of Zambia lecturers are working in an environment that is not academically viable but are doing the best to provide the nation with the best academic services,” stated Moyo. “The Union takes great exception with the casual attitude demonstrated by management in handling the above issues.”