Lecturers take action over salaries

University teaching staff at the University of Kinshasa, or UNIKIN, have voted to continue a strike over pay as talks with government have failed. The move comes as academic staff in several other institutions in the country express unhappiness over non-payment of salaries.

The decision to continue the UNIKIN strike which started on 7 August was taken at a staff meeting after the executive committee of APUKIN, the university’s teachers’ association, reported that no progress had been made in negotiations with the government, reported Radio Okapi of Kinshasa.

The dispute mainly concerned adjustment of salaries to take account of the change in exchange rates, and government failure to observe a 2014 law about the organisation of elections of academic authorities, reported Radio Okapi.

Another staff meeting will take place on 29 August to re-evaluate the strike position.

Meanwhile, students at the teacher-training Université Pédagogique Nationale, whose teachers are also on strike, have demanded a ‘minimum service’ be provided to save the current academic year, reported Radio Okapi.

However, student representative Mario Baitelemeke said they understood the strike movement, which they judged ‘legitimate’, and called on the government to speed up negotiations to find a solution to the lecturers’ demands.

Meanwhile, representatives of academic and non-teaching employees at five universities in Bukavu have expressed concern over late and non-payment of their salaries.

Professor Désiré Lumonge of the Institut Supérieur Pédagogigue in Bukavu, representing staff at the five universities in the East Congo town, said: “The salaries for the months owing must be paid without delay for the institutions in the town of Bukavu; also settlement of the salaries of staff who have not been paid at their respective grades … and especially the adjustment of salaries conforming to the 2017 budget rates”, reported Radio Okapi.

But the Bukavu teachers said they did not want to disrupt examinations, and confined themselves to calling on the government to settle their claims as soon as possible.

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