today, 18 September, the staff of Gambia College are embarking on an indefinite
sit-down strike mainly due to non-payment of retention and teaching allowances,
poor salary and shortage of academic staff.
“It should be clear that the Academic Staff Association has exhausted all diplomatic means to get the concerns addressed,” Andrew Gomez, chairman of the Gambia College Academic Staff Association (GCASA), said at a press conference by the association held at the college Brikama campus on Friday.
He said based on “the deplorable working conditions” at the Gambia College, the association has written many letters to the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), the Gambia College governing council and the administration of the Gambia College expressing their concerns.
The association’s last letter, he disclosed, was sent to the Gambia College governing council, copied to MoHERST, on 25 April 2017.
In that letter, the association demanded for the payment of their graduate/retention allowance and the review of the college’s salary structure to match with other government sister tertiary institutions.
They also demanded that the existing vacant positions be filled or occupied by competent personnel, and the Head of Departments of the various schools of the college be officially confirmed and be paid required allowance.
In the said letter, the association further demanded an increment of their teaching allowance from 30% to 75%.
They also demanded that the Academic Staff Association to be represented at the senior management team and the governing council of the college.
“The Gambia College Staff Association concluded that based on the non-payment of their graduate/retention allowance and the unexplained neglect of their demands, the Academic Staff Association agreed at a general meeting convened on the 13th September that a sit-down strike be observed from the 18th September 2017 until the demands are met,” Mr Gomez said, adding that all the staff are to desist from college functions.