Resumption of Industrial Action by Academic Staff Association – Press Statement

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PRESS STATEMENT
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 20th November, 2020: Resumption of Industrial Action

ASA – USL at a general meeting held on the 18th Wednesday 2020 expressed utter dismay at the non-inclusion of our agreed 100% salary adjustment in the recently-read 2021 Budget Statement in a letter to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone (USL).  


It is worthy to note that the adjustment came as a result of not having reviewed our Conditions of Service (COS) since 2011 and our conditions stipulate that we review our COS every three years. The review was also meant to defray the astronomical surge in the Dollar exchange which affects every span of economic activity. It was meant to cushion the gradual, crippling inflation rate we are constrained to endure year after year. Despite all these, suffice you to know that our review has remained unaffected by four subsequent Government reviews. Our salary has remained stagnant despite the demand on us to undertake online teaching which adversely affected our minimal salaries. We have not received any salary adjustment in the face of Government support to hotel and tourism and other sectors.

It is also the case that the University of Sierra Leone has not paid salaries of Academic staff members for the last three months. The case is even worse for College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) where staff members are owed salaries in excess of three months.

Following our letter of 18th Wednesday 2020 to the Vice-chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone (USL) decrying the non-inclusion of our agreed 100 percent salary adjustment into the 2021 Budget Statement and condemning the non-payment of salaries by the University for a minimum of three months, a cross section of ASA-USL was summoned to a meeting by the University authorities chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, FBC, who was deputizing the Vice Chancellor and Principal. The intention was to dissuade us from going ahead with the resumption of the industrial action.  While we appreciate their quick response and good intention to salvage the situation, we regret to reveal that nothing of substance was proffered at the meeting to entice us to change our stance.

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ASA-USL has therefore resolved to resume the suspended industrial action on 23rd Monday 2020 until the undermentioned conditions are fulfilled:  

  1. A signed Agreement for the payment of our agreed 100% Salary Adjustment to reflect in our take home (net) salary after all tax deductions effective January 2021.
  2. Payment of subvention to the University to expedite payment of other emoluments to staff
  3. Immediate payment of ALL salary arrears owed by the University of Sierra Leone to ASA members in each college within the University.

Signed:

Dr. Williette P.R.O. James – President, ASA-USL
Alhaji Yankuba Kenneh – Secretary General, ASA- USL

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