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LECTURERS at the Copperbelt University (CBU) have rejected five per cent salary increment offered to them by management during yesterday’s meeting and have said that there was need to close down the institution until it was ready to meet the 12 percent salary increment which they are demanding.

Copperbelt University Academicians Union (CBUAU) General Secretary Willie Ngosa said the decision by management to offer an additional one per cent to make it five percent to the protesting lecturers was a mockery especially at a time when the prices of essential commodities are expecting to sky-rocket further following the increased prices of fuel.

But CBU Registrar Hellen Mukumba said the five percent offer that management gave the lecturers was what the institution could afford, and that asking for 12 percent was beyond its reach.

Ms Mukumba who was reluctant to comment further said that management was not aware about the position of the union to reject the additional one percent because they had not officially informed them.

“We are yet to meet the union to get their official position on the matter hence as management we cannot comment on the matter further,” Ms Mukumba said.

In an interview, Mr Ngosa said the decision by the union to come with an additional one per cent to the table was a clear indication that they were jokers and did not take the lecturers seriously.

During yesterday’s meeting, between management and Copperbelt University Academicians Union (CBUAU), the management came up with an additional percent to the four percent, a move which angered the union and described management as a group of jokers.

Mr Ngosa said the union has rejected the additional one per cent to the four per cent and would continue with the protest and advised the management to close the institution until it was ready to meet the 12 percent salary increment which they were demanding

“The management came to the table and said they had consulted extensively and have come up with an additional one per cent. So we told them that we want the 12 per cent salary increment

“So our protest will continue and if they want to close the institution, they can close it until they find a solution to this issue. If they want to institute disciplinary action against us, let them go ahead and fire all the lecturers,” Mr Ngosa said

The lecturers started their protest on Monday, last week over the four percent salary increment which management offered to them, but they rejected it and instead demanded for a 12 per cent salary increment.

According to a letter obtained by Daily Nation in Kitwe, signed by CBU Acting Registrar Paul Himoonga , addressed to CBUAU General Secretary and copied to  Vice-Chancellor , Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Labour Commissioner, the management requested the union to revisit its decision and allow for laid down procedures to be followed and hoped that ultimately an amicable resolution may be found

The union ignored the request in the letter and on Wednesday, escalated their protest over the four percent salary increment offered by management with a music system and turned to the dancing floor as the protest entered the third day.

The CBUAU through Mr Ngosa said their demands were not about writing letters, but meeting the demands of 12 per cent salary increment.

“No, we cannot respond to that letter, our demands are not about writing letters, but meeting our demands of the 12 per cent salary increment. In fact, for your information, today the protest has been escalated by a music system,” Mr Ngosa said.

Mr Ngosa said the lecturers would not be intimidated by empty threats from management because they were fighting for a genuine cause.

The lecturers and Academicians started their protest yesterday with the union President Derrick Ntalasha saying they cannot  allow ourselves to continue getting peanuts when they were the ones who provide the core business of the university of providing of knowledge through lectures, research and other expert services in line with knowledge of various sectors of the economy

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