Students at the Copperbelt University (CBU) have called on the government to intervene in the stand-off between management and the lecturers to ensure smooth running of classes at the institution.
Copperbelt University Students Union (COBUSU) president, Francis Chanda, said students are losing out on learning hours as the two parties are failing to reach an agreement on the salary increment being demanded by the lecturers.
Mr. Chanda said the government needs to move in and resolve the differences between the two parties before students resort to rioting.
He said the students are planning to write to government next week if the management and lecturers’ impasse is not resolved this week.
He revealed that students had wanted to resolve the issue with the two parties before engaging the Ministry of Education officials.
“We have realised that students are the ones suffering in the fight between management and the lecturers. As you may be aware we were supposed to start writing supplementary examinations but they have been disturbed by the work stoppage by the lecturers,” he said.
The students have since called for the postponement of the examinations to enable them prepare adequately after being disturbed by the lecturers’ strike.
And Copperbelt University Academics Union General Secretary, Willie Ngosa, said the lecturers will continue to protest until management gives them the 12 per cent salary increment they are demanding for.
Speaking in a separate interview in Kitwe with ZANIS today, Mr. Ngosa said the lecturers’ demands are attainable except that management is being unfair to the unionised lecturers.
He noted that the lecturers at the University of Zambia were already getting far much higher than those at CBU.
He added that even if the CBU lecturers get the 12 per cent they are demanding for, their salaries will still be lower than those of their UNZA counterparts.
“The situation remains the same, we will continue to protest until management gives us the 12 per cent we are asking for. We know the money is there, if they can manage to pay professors huge sums of money, they can pay us also. They should just give us. Moreover, last year we were not given any salary increment,” Mr. Ngosa said.
The strike action by Copperbelt University unionised lecturers yesterday clocked one week with no signs of the two parties reaching a consensus.