[www.inewsguyana.com] – The University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and the Workers Union (UGWU) say they are prepared to ‘shut down’ the institution is the administration follows through with its plan to cut a number of programmes from the curriculum, which inevitably means staff reduction.
Speaking at press conference this morning UGSSA Chairperson, Dr. Patsy Francis says they are concerned about the fact that UG is short on funds to ensure its viability but insists that any cuts to staff will result in the closure of the institution.
“We will not allow it and I say categorically that I will not” she said, adding that “we will not allow the loss of not even one job.”
The reaction from the two bodies comes on the heels of an announcement by the current Council and Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi that he will cut programmes that are not adequately subscribed.
Francis, who believes that if Opadeyi follows through on his statements the Tain Campus and the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) will be affected first, said she does not support any cuts but will support reform in order to ensure UG’s existence.
Francis was supported by Vice Chairman of the UGSSA, Melissa Ifill who posited that the proposal by the VC has grave and critical impacts on UG.
The two bodies have counter proposed that the VC and Council lobby the necessary politicians to return to Parliament with the appropriate Bills that will see the restoration of the Student Loan Fund, carry out an audit on the Loan Fund which should be generating profit, put mechanisms in place to ensure affordability by all when tuition fees are increased and stop making the system ‘top heavy’ by hiring senior administrative staff even as Francis demanded that academic staff be paid more.
The UGSSA Chairperson was also concerned that such a move could sabotage over US$10M curriculum and lab reform initiative.
She was adamant too that tuition fees should not be increased without increasing the quality of education first, while Ifill clarified that the Council recently confirmed an increase that will see students soon paying between $206,000 and $210,000 annually.