UG rejects accusation of breach of Terms of Resumption

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – The University of Guyana is rejecting the accusation that it has breached the terms of resumption agreement with unions.

A media release issued by Vice Chancellor, Jacob Opadeyi stated that upon the full resumption on March 3, 2015, the Bursary staff commenced in earnest, with the preparation of salary for those workers who were on strike.

He said the task was completed on March 5 and questioned how does the preparation and payment of full salary for striking workers within three working days after the signing of the agreement constitute a breach of the agreement.

“It speaks of ‘immediately released (salaries) upon both parties signing the Terms of Resumption agreement’. How can the UG Administration “immediately release” salaries that it has not prepared before the agreement was signed? We should not forget the fact that several of the Bursary staff were on strike actions for the 5 weeks and only returned to work on March 3rd. For the Unions to expect the Bursary to undertake salary computations and payments to striking workers on the first day of resumption (March 3rd, 2015) constitute a high level of efficiency that is unimaginable,” Opadeyi said.

He further noted that the administration does not wish that the Unions will demand similar levels of alacrity from its members who are yet to submit exams grades for examination papers written in December 2014.

According to the Vice Chancellor, the University Negotiation Team (UNT) is comprised of Council members several of whom are from the private and public sectors and are likely to have other pre-scheduled engagements.

“We met seven working days and not seven calendar days after resumption. Are we reasonable in our expectations from each other? Can we expect from the Unions the same level of timeliness in the performance of its duties to our students? The University Administration reject the Unions accusations and wish to assure all our staff that we are prepared and are working to ensure that all the Terms of Resumption are met both in spirit and in deed.”

Opadeyi made it clear that the ongoing salary negotiation is between the Unions and the University Negotiation Team and not with the University Administration.

A statement from the President of the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) Dr Melissa Ifill on Tuesday last stated that the unions were invited to their first round of negotiations; but this turned out to be nothing more than a monologue.

After five weeks of industrial action by UGSSA and Workers Union (UGWU), the strike action was called off on February 28. This was facilitated by several agreements in Terms of Resumption which included a return to the negotiating table.