Gambia College lecturers have embarked on a sit down strike, Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The Secretary General of the Academic Staff Association Musa FM Danso said in a statement that the resumption of the sit down strike, was occasioned as a result of the government’s failure to meet their demands for their April salaries to be paid; lack of assurance from the government that subsequent salaries would be paid on a timely fashion; and also an undertaking from the government that the 50% salary increment the government had promised to workers, should be paid to them as of January 2019.
School Principal Abubacarr Jallow was quoted as saying that the salary of the lecturers has been paid, but he says, he doesn’t know what must have triggered the latest strike action. Jallow also claimed that the 50% salary increment was meant for civil servants, who had fallen under the integrated government pay scale. He claimed that college lecturers were excluded from the new pay raise for workers. A statement that has vehemently debunked by the protesters.
According to the Foroyaa Newspaper, “However, Andrew Gomez, president of The Gambia College Academic Staff, clarified that not all lecturers were paid; that those receiving their salaries through the bank were yet to be paid. He challenged the principal’s statement, saying that the 50% salary increment was mentioned by the Minister of information on different media platforms when he said the 50% salary increment is for all civil servants. He went on to say that Council wrote them a letter promising that the 50% they lobbied for, will be paid by the end of May with drawback; that there should be a written document to indicate that there will be no delay in the payment of their salaries; that otherwise, the situation remains the same. “The situation is no more bearable. Both Council and Government should do something about this. We thought this will be history but instead, it is repeating itself,” he said.
Below is the letter from The Gambia College Academic Staff Association.
The Academic Staff Association,
The Gambia College,
West Coast Region.
9th May, 2019.
Gambia College Council,
West Coast Region.
RE: FIFTY PERCENT (50%) SALARY INCREMENT
Following the meeting held by the general membership of Gambia College Academic staff Association (GCASA) on the 9th May, 2019, GCASA executive writes to inform you that the general body is the highest decision making body of the Association and therefore their decision supersedes that of the GCASA Executive. By this letter, GCASA Executive would like to inform you that the general membership agreed to resume their Sit-down strike with immediate effect until the following conditions are met:
1. that our April,2019 salaries are paid.
2. that we (GCASA) receive an assurance in writing that subsequent salaries will be paid on time.
3. that the 50% salary increment be effected and paid as of January, 2019.
We hope that you will co-operate and resolve these problems as soon as possible.
Musa FM Danso
Principal, The Gambia College
Minister, Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology
Chairman, Select Committee on Education, National Assembly
Vice Principal, Gambia College
Registrar, Gambia College
Heads of Schools