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UTech accusing staff unions of attempting to discredit institution

Published:Monday | September 30, 2013 | 1:33 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



The University of Technology (UTech) is accusing two staff unions of trying to bring the institution into disrepute.




In a full-page advertisement in The Sunday Gleaner yesterday, the UTech Academic Staff Union and the UTech Jamaica Administrative Support Staff Association declared that they have no confidence in the institution.



In a series of questions relating to governance issues, the unions alleged that in one year, the Government-funded university moved from a surplus of over $500 million to a deficit of more than $100 million.



However, acting president of UTech, Professor Kofi Nkrumah-Young is rejecting the claim as false.



He says there have been only three instances in the last 10 financial years, in which the institution recorded a deficit.



He says the just concluded 2012-2013 financial year in March ended with a $22 million surplus.



And Professor Nkrumah-Young has dismissed claims that Government subventions were being used to finance senior executive management positions not established by law.



Professor Nkrumah-Young says under the UTech Act, the university is empowered to employ according to its needs.



He says the administration is pursuing options to prevent the unions from bringing the UTech into disrepute.



Last week Thursday, the Academic Staff Union staged a protest forcing the cancellation of classes.



Secretary of the staff union, Meredith Williams said the staff were protesting the alleged victimisation of two of its members and issues of governance at the school.



The unions say they are fed up with the institution's management of key issues, including the appointment of some of the university's top brass.



They have singled out the appointment of Professor Gossett Oliver to the office of deputy principal.



Professor Nkrumah-Young says the UTech will be issuing a detailed media releases addressing the claims from the unions.



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