MASERU — Lecturers at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) have been awarded a seven percent salary increase.
The salary adjustment is part of the deal the management and the Lesotho University Teachers and Researchers Union (Lutaru) signed on Thursday. The NUL management has pledged to give employees the salary increment backdated to July this year.
The management has also agreed to pay the union members the three months salaries which were withheld during a strike last year. However, the five days that the union members were on strike will not be paid for. The deal which is expected to end the turmoil at the university came after government intervention this month. The government ordered the university council to instruct the management to pay the salaries it has withheld as part of the no-work-no-pay policy.
Government also offered to help the university with the money to pay the withheld salaries.
It is not clear how much the university has requested from the treasury but management officials said M16 million will be required for the salaries. Lutaru president Motšelisi Mokhethi said the management has promised to pay the withheld salaries by end of this month. “We have agreed to disagree on the five days that we were actually on strike,” Mokhethi said.
Mokhethi said as part of the deal Lutaru has agreed to withdraw the court cases it had against the management.
“We are waiting for management to pay the salaries first. Once they deliver we withdraw all the court cases,” she said.
Lutaru has also agreed to call off the on-and-off strike that has been dragging on for the past two years. “We have decided to call off the strike. We have decided not to engage in strikes anymore for the sake of the peace and to ensure that education time is not wasted,” she said. “We have had to compromise for the deal to be made. We had initially wanted a 15 percent increment but have agreed to seven. We cannot say we are happy but at least we have agreed to the offer for peace’s sake,”she said.
Lutaru has agreed to contribute to the restructuring process at the university. NUL Vice-Chancellor Sharon Siverts was however not part of the signing of the agreement as she was said to be on a two-week leave. She was represented by Pro Vice- Chancellor Mafa Sejanamane. The deal was signed in the presence of a conciliator from the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution.