By Bill W. Cooper
Days after members of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) disengaged from all academic activities on all the campuses of the University of Liberia (UL), the Student Unification Party yesterday, demanded the school Administration to address concerns raised by the association members.
SUP staged a peaceful protest on the main campus of the University demanding the UL administration to adhere to the Faculty Association’s concerns raised.
The protesters further appealed to the ULFA members to see reason and return to classes as means of enabling students complete their semester as they continue their engagement with the UL Administration.
“We want to use this medium to call on the University president, Rev. Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson to see reason and address the faculty’s concern with urgency so as to enable them return to class and begin the teaching of our colleagues,” the aggrieved students stressed.
According to them, it is the birth giving right for every Liberian citizen to get quality and affordable education and as such, the University administration should now begin to ensure that the issues of instructors’ salary payment and other incentives be current.
The students’ movement added, “Gone are those days that the State’s-run University will owe his employees for over seven (7) months, and more to that, they should also provide the enabling environment for students to learn and for instructors to impart knowledge into the University-going students.”
However, the SUP yesterday’s protestation was triggered after members of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) began a go-slow action by laying down their pieces of chalk in protest over the weekend, demanding that the UL Administration pay them their salaries and other allowances.
More to that, several students were over the weekend unable to attend their respective classes as a result of the ULFA members go-slow action with some terming the action as “unacceptable and frustrating.”
Additionally, a letter in the possession of this paper quoted the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) as saying, “the ULFA has voted unanimously to disengage from all academic activities on all campuses of the University, as this action was taken in an emergency General Assembly called by the leadership on Friday, September 17, 2021, on the UL main campus.”
According to the ULFA, their decision was to enable the Executive Committee of ULFA engage the UL Administration on several issues relating to their welfare which includes the addressing of salaries and allowances disparity among faculty members as well as discrepancies between faculty and Administrative staff not later than July 2021.
Others are the increasing of salaries of faculty members beginning 2022 budget year; addressing the general welfare of faculty members (Social Security and Medical Insurance) and improving the working environment including the sanitary condition on the campuses of the University.
Meanwhile, the faculty in their letter furthered, “Given these demands, all efforts to leave the UL Administrations solve these problems proved futile and as such, we urge all faculty members to disengage and discontinue all academic activities from all campuses of the UL. We therefore urge our students to remain calm as this action is in the best interest of both the students and faculty.”
SUP Demands Faculty
By Bill W. Cooper