Fri | Dec 6, 2019

UTech mulls steps to ease impact of strike

Published:Thursday | November 7, 2019 | 12:23 AM
Stephen Vasciannie
Stephen Vasciannie

Administrators of the University of Technology (UTech) are exploring interventions to mitigate the fallout of a 12-day strike by academic staff with end-of-semester examinations looming.

President of UTech, Stephen Vasciannie, said discussions would be held with students and other stakeholders on the way forward in light of the temporary end to the industrial action.

The lecturers returned to the classrooms on Wednesday.

“We are in the midst of putting in place some plans. We have just had a meeting with the students and allowed them the opportunity to articulate their concerns and for us to make a note of particular difficulties that some of them may be having,” Vasciannie told The Gleaner yesterday.

Meetings are to continue today with the faculty and senior administrators.

“Tomorrow (Thursday), the various faculties will be meeting with other senior administrators of the university to put together a plan of action to ensure that students are not significantly disadvantaged by this thing. There are various proposals that are being considered, but we want to act carefully, and we want to act in consultation with the various stakeholders,” he said.

The University of Technology, Jamaica Academic Staff Union (UTASU) reportedly agreed for its members to temporarily return to work yesterday, halting their industrial action, which started on October 25.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the UTASU said that the move is to give the management of the university time to secure additional funding towards the payment of retroactive sums owed to academic staff for the period 2018-19 and to outline a firm schedule of payment.

Operations at the university have been tense since payday on October 25 when the more than 500 employees took industrial action over the non-payment of retroactive sums.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com