By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Students of the University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus are frustrated over the current impasse between the University’s administration and the unions representing workers.
The University’s Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and the Workers Union (UGWU) on Monday, January 26 commenced industrial action with its three days planned ‘sit in’.
The ‘sit in’ will mean that union members, including lecturers are expected to be present on campus but will not be engaged in teaching and/or providing services.
It was noted that apart from lectures, the services most used by students at this time are bursary and registry related. The unions are protesting for an increased in wages, salaries and improvement in other areas.
At a meeting on Monday by the University’s Student Society (UGSS) which is headed by Joshua Griffith, the students called on the two sides to go back to the negotiating table and find a solution.
One student, Elsie Harry explained, “I am frustrated with the current situation and I think that the powers that be need to make the right decisions to get this matter resolved and not just a temporary fix but a permanent fix, so that going forward we won’t have this problem again because it’s a problem that keeps recurring, it’s an old problem.”
The meeting was organized to have students express their views and concerns, including but not limited to the current sit in by the staff.
The UGSS President said, “some students came out today to get a sense of what is going on and a lot of lectures did not teach and those who were on campus were not actively involved in teaching, they were in class so it seems as if the sit in is a unified front by the staff and lecturers alike.”
He said the UGSS does not support this industrial action since students are greatly affected.
“It is not our position to support it, but our wish is that this situation could be resolved at the soonest possible opportunity because we are the paying custodians of the University and we stand to be affected the most, so if we can be the mediator and say get back to the negotiation table…but that’s only one aspect; there are a lot of other grievances that the students would have with the administration in general and were hoping to address some of these issues here and now.”
The workers are protesting for an increase in wages and salaries citing the increased tuition fees that was added by the University’s administration last semester.