Over 200 workers call out sick at UTECH

February 06, 2023
The entrance to the UTech campus.

Over 200 administrative workers have staged a sickout at the University of Technology (Utech), protesting the lack of progress in the ongoing compensation review with the university. 

The STAR understands the sickout, which is expected to last for two days, is the second protest taken by admin staff in two months.

President of the UTECH Administrative Staff Association, Jeanette Grayson told The STAR that despite numerous meetings, her association has been unable to get a definitive position from the school’s management as to where members of the administrative staff would fall within the new compensation structure.

“We have been operating on the past establishment which was from 1995 and it only recognises 603 staff, currently the university has a complement of more than 1300 staff. So, if the government does not recognise this current establishment that we are using which we have not signed off on, then the staff who do not have post numbers, they will not be able to benefit from the public sector reform, ”she said. 

According to Grayson, the latest meeting held with university management in January did not give members any optimism that the institution is advocating for them. 

“Only to realise that we were in a worst position that we start because we have been asking them to get our establishment to be signed off by the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Finance, for the staff to be able to benefit from the administrative and the public sector review with the correct establishment, we are not going to have this done anytime soon,” she said.

On Thursday, UTASA will have a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Labour, before deciding its next steps. 

“We’re only asking the university’s management to do what they need to do to ensure that the staff are able to do their work. They’re being paid to manage the university and we’re asking them to reach out, take a stand where our parent ministries are concerned to ensure that the staff are satisfied,” Grayson said. 

-Sashana Small 

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