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Juba University lecturers threaten to strike as gov’t averts the situation

October 5, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s ministry of higher education, science and technology has appealed to Juba University administration to give it time to address lecturers’ concerns that led to them threatening to take strike action next Monday.

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University of Juba (File photo )

University of Juba on Friday announced that its lecturers were planning to strike over a dispute about salaries and allowances.

Lecturers in the higher learning institution have condemned the salary structure, which they say falls well below reasonable expectations and is further compounded by poor conditions for accommodation and other necessities.

However, the newly-appointed minister for higher education, John Gai Yoh, on Saturday said the situation will be rectified and appealed to lecturers to give his ministry two weeks to address their concerns.

Some university staff receive as little as $400 a month, equivalent to a salary of a graduate in the civil service.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Gai said he had already met with the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, to discuss the situation.

He said the president had already directed the minister of finance and economic planning to review the allowance policy for the lecturers by January 2014.

It is not yet clear whether the planned strike will go ahead on Monday as planned or if it has been cancelled as the university’s administration were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, teachers working in general education marked World’s Teachers’ Day in Juba on Saturday by demanding better services, including accommodation, study tours and higher salaries.