By Ebrima Jallow
The Gambia College Academic Staff has threatened to stage a sit down strike today over demands for better working conditions.
In a statement read out to the media at the college conference hall on Saturday, Andrew AD Gomez, chairman of The Gambia College Academic Staff Association, decried the deplorable working conditions of the academic staff of the college.
Surrounded by the college lecturers, he said government has failed to respond to their demands for graduate and retention allowance, review of their salary structure to be at per with other sister tertiary institutions, filling of all vacant positions at the college, increment of teaching allowance from 30 to 75 percent, confirmation of the service of all heads of department of the schools of the college, and representation of the academic staff association on The Gambia College senior management team and Governing Council. These demands he said, were outlined in letters sent to the Gambia College Council and copied to MoHERST since April last year.
According to Mr Gomez, the academic staff association had exhausted all diplomatic means to get these concerns addressed both at council and ministry levels. “Written communications started years ago and promises were made by MoHERST but all proved to be empty. Timelines were equally given but they expired and no explanations were advanced by the ministry. Reminders were conveyed to the ministry and were also ignored… Based on the nonpayment of our graduate and retention allowances and the unexplained negligence of our demands, the academic staff association agreed at a general meeting convened on 13 September 2017 that a sit-down strike be observed as of 18 September 2017 until the demands are met,” he declared.