The University Faculty and Staff Association [UTGFSA] have suspended their sit-down strike that held semester examinations from holding as scheduled.
The staff have agreed to report to work on 5th July [tomorrow] after an engagement with the Secretary General & Head of Civil Service as representative of the President; University Governing Council; Chairman of the National Assembly Select Committee for Education; the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science & Technology [MoHERST]; and Student Union.
The meeting agreed with timeline some of the following according to the announcement from the university student union:
The Governing Council will be dissolved within three weeks and replace with a substantive new members and Chairman, as per dictate of the Tertiary and Higher Education Act 2016 on or before 19th July 2021;
A new Joint Search Council and Senate Committee will be constituted in line with the Byelaws of the University of The Gambia 1999;
The Registrar officially handover overseeing the Directorate of Human Resources and Records as well as correspondence to the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance within a week effective 5th July 2021;
All retirees to be replaced with identified staff and TAC volunteers effective 17th July 2021, until the Deans and HODs elections are held next month [August];
And both the positions of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic and Administration be advertised latest 9th July 2021, among others.
However, the UTGFSA threatened to strike again, if any resolution is not implemented as scheduled.
“It is a condition [that] if not completely settled we will sit again either to boycott the semester or exams without calling for a congress. Any resolutions not fulfilled according to the set timelines, we will sit down again. No need for a congress for these. We have made it very clear to them,” Dr. Alieu Gibba, UTGFSA President, told Kerr Fatou.
The staff association began the strike on 1stJuly the same day semester exams were scheduled to commence but failed to proceed. Some of the key demands the staff put forward are: The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology [MoHERST] to fully pay the D150M arrears it owed UTG; Dissolution of the Interim Governing Council and replace it with a ‘substantive’ one after 4 years; UTG registrar to completely handover Human Resource administration to UTG HR Director and the later to report to the Deputy Vice Chancellor and/or the Vice Chancellor; replacement of retired or Acting Deans and Heads of Department; the position of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Admin & Finance be advertised; the advertisement of the position of the Vice Chancellor be halted until due procedures are followed, etc.
Although the staff have agreed to resume work on Monday, Kerr Fatou is privy to information that exams would not be held on Monday.