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University of Bahr el Ghazal’s VC distances self from workers strike

March 30, 2017 (WAU) – Dr Samson Samuel Wassara, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bahr el Ghazal has distanced himself from the strike currently taking place.

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Bahr el Ghazal students protesting at the UN main Gate in Wau, March 12, 2014 (ST)

In an interview with the Vice Chancellor on Thursday, Wassara told Sudan Tribune that the order of remittance of the casual labour transport allowance was a directive from the undersecretary from the Ministry of Higher Education directing the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor of administration to stop paying the workers.

According to the Vice Chancellor, the letter directed to the University said there was nothing like transport allowances allocated to any University in the country, despite the University of Bahr el Ghazal which had it as on a payroll system.

Wassara said if the strike continued, the Ministry of Higher Education would be responsible in addressing the matter and the workers at the University has the right to claim for their needs.

The Vice Chancellor explained that he was not aware of any abnormality in the budget. He went on to say that the University’s pay sheet he received was not written by the undersecretary address to the Vice Chancellor for the administration of the University of Bahr el Ghazal indicating that the column of transport allowances did not exist in any of the University’s in the country.

Wassara responded to the workers’ demands on transportation allowances including promotion since last year 2016.

“When these things reached us, I asked the Deputy Vice Chancellor for the administration to address the matter in which the trade union at the University was highlighted over the matter earlier on 28 December 2016,” said Wassara.

“For sure, the obliteration of this transport allowance from the workers has affected them because it was the money they were receiving but it is not our own made, it was a directives from the undersecretary for higher education from Juba,” added the Vice Chancellor.

Wassara said if the Ministry of Higher Education failed to response, it would be on the workers at the University of Bahr el Ghazal to either continue with their strike or form a committee that would visit the office of the undersecretary at the Ministry of Higher Education.

Wassara added that his administration did not have the money to negotiate about the transport allowance.

The strike which started on 27 March 2017 has now paralyzed the academic situation of the University as classes including stationeries remain closed. This has left students without a study venues during the approaching examination period.

Peter Mario, the University Trade Union Secretary said the strike would continue until the University’s administration settles the staff’s grievances.

“We are striking because the administration’s decision to deduct our transportation allowance but if the money if paid back to us today, we will stop the strike,” said Mario.

Mario further said they were getting allowances but only required transport allowances.

(ST)