Mzuni striking staff make progress

Mzuzu University (Mzuni) has given in to demands by its striking staff to raise salaries by 20 percent, but on condition that the hike is implemented in phases.

The university staff downed tools last Tuesday to force management to increase salaries for both academic and non-academic staff.

The Nation has established that the Mzuni Council was locked up in a meeting where it proposed to make a 15 percent increment now and the remaining percents in July.

Nyirenda: Members of staff are
comfortable with the offer

Mzuni Academic Staff Union president Angel Nyirenda confirmed that the university had offered to make the increment in phases but said the two sides were yet to reach a final agreement.

He said the staff will end the sit-in once they have reached a final agreement. However, he said the members of staff are comfortable with the offer by management as it still translates to 20 percent increment.

“We are moving towards reaching an agreement, but we are still on sit-in. We requested a 20 percent increment and we are still demanding 20 percent. Because of financial issues, management has proposed that 15 percent be made now and five percent in July,” said Nyirenda.

Efforts to speak to the university registrar Yonam Ngwira were futile as he did not pick calls when contacted.

However, Mzuni senior assistant registrar James Kwilimbe, who said is on holiday and could not comment, stated that he has heard of reports that there was progress in the discussions and that management had made “a good offer”.

Mzuni Students Representative Committee president John Gondwe, who sits in Mzuni Council meetings, also indicated that discussions to end the strike were at an advanced stage and the university’s management is currently making final engagements with government to have the university operations back to normal as soon as possible.

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