By Adama Tine
After over seven hours of engagement with all stakeholders of the University of The Gambia (i.e. Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (MOHERST), Governing Council, Office of the President, Student Union and Chairman of the National Assembly Select Committee for Education) over the weekend to end the sit-down strike and give chance to students to start their exams, the meeting unanimously agreed the following timeline for implementation:
1. The Interim Governing Council will be dissolved within three weeks and replaced with substantive new members and with a Chairman, as per dictates of the Tertiary and Higher Education Act 2016. (timeline – on or before 19th July 2021)
2. A new Joint Search Council and Senate Committee will be constituted in line with the Byelaws of the University of The Gambia 1999.
3. MOHERST to lift the ban on the UTG from running their engineering programs (on or before 19th July 2021)
4. The Secretary-General and Head of the Civil Service to instruct UTG to augment all allowance of the striving low scholarship allowance and match the amount with the UTG Training and Development policy.
5. The Registrar to officially handover overseeing both the Directorate of HR and Records and correspondence of the University of The Gambia back to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration and Finance). This will be done (within a week) starting from Monday
6. All retirees will be replaced with identified staff and TAC volunteers (effective 17th July 2021) until the Deans and HODs elections are held in August 2021.
7. Both the Position of the DVC Academic and Admin will be advertised latest (9th July 2021)
Yorro Njie Secretary General of the University of The Gambia Faculty Staff Association (UTGFSA) said they decided to suspend the sit-down strike and keep monitoring the timelines as agreed. He added that all staff were urged to report to work beginning on (Monday 5th July 2021).
“The UTGFSA wants to extend its sincere appreciation to the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service (Mr. Nuha Touray), for his leadership and high level of professionalism in bringing the sit-strike to an end,” he said.
He on behalf of the Staff Association , Njie thanked UTG management through the Vice Chancellor for allowing a flexible negotiation and accepting the demands for the best interest of the University.
In addition he said, the Staff Association equally expresses gratitude to the University of The Gambia Student Union and its leadership and the entire executive council, for bringing all parties under a single negotiating table, with maximum decorum and nonchalant.
He went on to extend its sincere gratitude to MOHERST through the Permanent Secretary and the National Assembly Select Committee for Education, through their Chairman (Hon. Sidia Jatta), for their acumen and guidance throughout the negotiation process.
“The Staff Association wishes to inform the entire country that all stakeholders during this meeting demonstrated a high level of maturity and spirit of national interest in all their deliberations and engagement on the subject matter,” he concluded.