THE go-slow by lecturers at Mulungushi University in Kapiri Mposhi who are demanding a 25 per cent salary increment, yesterday entered day six.
Meanwhile, Copperbelt University Academics Union (CBUAU) general secretary Kawunga Nyirenda whose union is representing them, said the lecturers have since reduced their demands for an increment from 25 to 13 per cent.
The University Vice-Chancellor Hellicy Ng’ambi said it was disappointing that lecturers decided to withdraw labour at a crucial time when both parties had been engaged in talks following their salary demands.
A check found that most lecturer rooms were deserted as students preferred to study from their rooms while others were threatening to protest over the situation.
The students, who reported to the campus on May 10, said it was becoming difficult to catch up with their studies as a result of the learning stoppages.
Prof Ng’ambi said management was not rigid and was ready to discuss the matter with the lecturers considering that the institution was emerging from a five-months closure due to a water shortage.
She explained that last year the university awarded the lecturers a 12 per cent increment which was higher than Copperbelt University who were given 10 per cent and University of Zambia’s eight per cent, an indication that it valued the input of its staff.
“I want to say that the university has no money and it will be unfair to transfer the cost on students which is the reason why we are interested in sitting down to discuss the situation,” she said.
She called for calm among students and reaffirmed the university’s commitment to finding a lasting solution.
She said management has been holding meetings with academicians’ union members and has met and responded to union letters over the matter and wondered why the union had ignored the efforts.