Lecturers hold second strike to claim pay arrears

Lecturer-researchers from Niger’s public universities were last week due to carry out a seven-day strike – the second this month – over salary and research allowance payments that they claim are in arrears.

All academic activities were suspended, seriously disrupting the start of the new semester, reported Radio France Internationale or RFI.

The lecturer-researchers had also been on strike during the week 8 to 10 September.

Bakasso Sahabi, general-secretary of the Syndicat des Enseignants Chercheurs, the union representing the strikers, told RFI that back payments had been made at some universities.

“So far, we’ve had confirmation that salaries at Zinder have been paid,” he said. “At Maradi they have been paid for the month of July, but not August; and none of the research allowances.”

But Higher Education Minister Mohamed Ben Omar insisted that all the teachers’ claims had been dealt with. “As I speak to you, all the claims have been satisfied,” RFI quoted him as saying.

“Already, from July, we have transferred two months of research payments, that’s 33 million francs (US$56,500), and last week we committed 140 million francs to be shared between all the universities for research allowances.”

However, Omar acknowledged there was an economic gloom that prevented the Treasury raising the funds necessary to deal with the situation, reported RFI.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original report.