By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Director of the University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC) Professor Daizal Samad said the UG unions demand for a 60% across the board salary increase is “highly justifiable.”
UG workers are striking and plan to continue industrial action until Wednesday February 11 as they demand the UG administration institute a 60% across increase for workers and better working conditions.
Professor Samad in a telephone interview with iNews on Saturday, February 07 made it very clear that he was in support of the industrials action planned by the University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA).
“They should kick up more of a stink,” he told iNews, expressing disgust that some basic hygiene amenities were not available at the university.
“You got ceilings caving in on people,” said the very passionate former UGBC Director adding “there is no quality in the place.”
According to Samad, the University’s administration had increased its tuition but yet still there were no improvements at the University.
However, while he supported the call for increased wages, Samad was very clear in his admonishment of lecturers saying that they need to do more while on the job.
He pointed out that Guyana has a national crisis with suicide and yet still no lecturer has seen it fit to do a research and publish a paper on the issue.
Samad said, “Nobody in UG is doing any research on that…they are doing wishy washy stuff if they are doing anything.”
Deputy Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Ramlall had also made a similar point saying that UG lecturers need to spend more time on the job.
While she admitted that indeed lecturers are the lowest paid in the region, she explained that local lecturers are working fewer amounts of hours. Ramlall reported that less than 48% of the lecturers spend less than 10 hours teaching per week.
“How can a lecturer with a University, full time lecturers spend less than ten hours teaching per week?” she questioned.
According to her, one of the plausible ways that UG would be able to fund the $1.8B salary increase to workers would be through a government subvention while another would be a stark increase in tuition fees.