Negotiations to end NUL strike begin

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MASERU — Negotiations to end a strike at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) kicked off on Tuesday.

The university’s management and the workers’ union were still locked up in talks late yesterday.

“The management and the lecturers and researchers have met to discuss the problems that have resulted in the strike,” Phomolo Lebotsa, NUL acting head of communications, said.

Authorities at NUL shut down the university last Wednesday after non-academic staff joined the strike by lecturers and researchers.

The lecturers were demanding a 15 percent salary review while the non-academic staff members wanted management to halt the restructuring exercise.

The negotiations come after the university authorities got a court order on Sunday to ban striking lecturers from holding demonstrations within the university’s premises.

NUL pro-vice chancellor, Mafa Sejanamane, said the university management applied for the court order after they received a tip-off that students and lecturers were planning to demonstrate at the campus on Monday.

The lecturers began striking two weeks ago demanding a salary review.

Last week the Lesotho University Teachers and Researchers Union (Lutaru) wrote to the university’s management telling them to recall students because they had decided to suspend the strike for two weeks to allow for negotiations to take
place.

When the management turned down the request Lutaru president, Ramohapi Shale, said lecturers would still report for duty even though management had ordered them to stay off campus.

The university management says it is still to decide when to reopen the university to allow lectures to resume.

“The management has not yet decided on the date to reopen the school. Students will be informed when a date has been set,” Lebotsa said.

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