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Union blasts Limkokwing bosses

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

MASERU — Non-academic staff at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology have accused the university’s management of being dishonest and discriminatory in their treatment of staff.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday members of the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology Non-Academic Staff Union (Lunasu) alleged the university had failed to resolve the numerous problems hampering the institution since its inception in 2008.

The complaints by Lunasu come hardly three months after violent student protests in November forced the university to shut down.

At least nine students were injured in the demonstrations.

Property worth hundreds of thousands of maloti was damaged as the angry students went on the rampage protesting what they called poor management and lack of resources.

Lunasu is unhappy that its members were not considered when the university gave a 17 percent salary increment to lecturers and teaching staff.

Non-academic staff includes those who work in the administration department and others who offer essential support services.

They also claimed they were not entitled to benefits like gratuities and housing allowances that the academic staff enjoys.

They said that the management was not willing to improve their salaries even after the university owners in Malaysia had approved a salary structure they had proposed.

“Our management lacks honesty. They fail to fulfil promises they make. The senior management in Malaysia approved the non-academic salary structure as proposed by Lunasu and told us that the local management will implement it on their return from their trip to Malaysia,” Pali Masenkane, the Lunasu vice-president, told the press conference.

He said instead of implementing the approved structure the management persuaded the senior management in Malaysia to approve different salaries from what Lunasu had proposed.

“The management lied to us. When they arrived from Malaysia they claimed they had not been informed about our proposal and that it had been approved. But they later went behind our backs and turned the senior bosses against us,” he said.

Masenkane said Lunasu rejected the new salary increment structure arguing the management was trying to play “mind-games” with them.

“We were given unnecessary final written warning letters. They were just trying to spite us,” he said.

Last week the management tried to stop Lunasu from taking their grievances to the media, Masenkane alleged.

He said they decided to proceed with the press conference after management told them that if they are given the salary increment they are demanding there would be no increments for the next two years.

“That was ridiculous,” Masenkane charged.

“Limkokwing management is bold enough to tell us that academic staff is more important than us and there is no way we can compare ourselves with them.

“This is why they are given allowances for any additional roles they hold which is not the case with us (we just get senior positions without any reward).

“In essence, there is neither job nor social security,” Lunasu said in a press release.

Lunasu further alleged some of its members were threatened with dismissal if they joined the labour union.

“Until our management … starts addressing staff and students’ concerns … Limkokwing University will continue to be notorious for these unrests,” Lunasu said.

Limkokwing University management could not be reached for comment.

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