MATSAPHA: William Ndlela, the Secretary General of the Association of Lecturers, Academics and Administrative Personnel (ALAAP) said they resolved to engage in the strike action after the institution failed to award them a Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) and working equipment thus frustrating them personally and at professional level.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, the ALAAP Secretary General said University of Eswatini (UNESWA) Lecturers have engaged in a strike action since Tuesday demanding a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)from the Management.
"We haven't received a Cost of Living Adjustment for over three years now but all our colleagues from other institutions have received theirs, the university is also refusing to effect promotions, they say there is no money since government has reduced their subventions. At one point they even offered to effect the promotions without adjusting our salaries.The situation is so bad such that the University is failing to remit monies meant to service our loans that we have with our respective financial institutions. These financial institutions end up harassing us, yet it's the University's fault"said the Secretary General.
He further added that they also struggled with working resources as the University was failing to provide WIFI to facilitate the ongoing online learning adding that they had to dig deeper from their pockets in order to buy data which the University failed to compensate. The Secretary General said the University rushed to court claiming their strike was illegal.
"Our strike is legal, we wrote to the University, and the Labour Commissioner notifying them of our intention to engage in a strike action .But the court found out that we didn't notify the Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration Commission (CMAC ) and we were ordered to start the process afresh, so the strike is suspended for now and will resume on Monday" the Secretary General said .
Efforts to reach Dr Salebona Simelane, the UNESWA Registrar proved unsuccessful at the time of compiling this report as his mobile phone rang unanswered.
Reached for comments, Xolani Maseko, the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students(SNUS) said they as students, they understand the frustration of their Lecturers caused by the institution's failure to award them a Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) hence their support for the strike.
"Some Lecturers are even struggling to travel to work due to financial challenges and the University is failing to provide them with working equipment" he said.
Striking UNESWA Lecturers want institution to provide COLA and working equipment.