Nust, lecturers’ pay dispute escalates

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National University of Science and Technology

THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) and its lecturers, under the umbrella of the Nust Educators’ Association (Nusteda) on Friday reached a stalemate on the issue of payment of bonuses, with the matter being referred to an independent arbitrator.

Richard Muponde
Senior Reporter

Two weeks ago, Nust lecturers joined other State university lecturers on a nationwide strike demanding payment of their February salaries and December 2014 bonus.

However, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Oppah Muchinguri quickly intervened and the lecturers were paid February salaries before they returned to work.

The bonus was, however, not paid leaving Nust lecturers disgruntled.

On Friday, the matter was taken before a labour officer of conciliation, where Nust was represented by Biggy Ngwenya from the human resources department, while Nusteda was represented by its lawyer Kossam Ncube and the whole executive led by Alois Muzuwe.

However, the parties failed to agree and the matter was referred to an independent arbitrator.

Higher and Tertiary Education minister Oppah Muchinguri
Higher and Tertiary Education minister Oppah Muchinguri

Ncube yesterday confirmed the latest development.

“It’s true the matter had gone for conciliation before a labour officer where both parties were to present their views so that they reach a settlement, but it failed and was referred for arbitration,” he said.

“Initially there were two matters which had been taken for conciliation, that of the February salaries and bonus.

“However, the February salaries were paid, leaving the bonus outstanding.

“When we went for conciliation, we insisted that bonuses should be paid because they were due since payslips were dispatched, but the money was not deposited.”

Ncube said Nust indicated they could not pay the bonuses since the institution relied on government funds, which were said would be staggered without giving a timeframe.

“We told them that we could not accept such a position where lecturers have to wait indefinitely for their bonus,” he said.

“Having reached that stalemate, the matter was referred for arbitration by an independent arbitrator.”

Last month, State university lecturers countrywide clashed with the government over the late payment of their January salaries and outstanding bonuses.

The government only paid their January salaries in mid-February.

Early this month, Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa said bonus payments had been staggered, starting with the payment of University of Zimbabwe lecturers with the rest to receive theirs as and when funds became available.

1 COMMENT

  1. It is not fair to delay paying dues to employees. This government is not serious, given the splashing of money elsewhere for non essential things. Be serious please!

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