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LSU seeks new part time lectures as standoff continues

Lupane State University (LSU) is now seeking new part time lecturers to take on block and parallel classes following its failure to reach an agreement on an upgraded pay rate with lecturers.

Last week, lecturers at the institution who teach block and parallel students stopped offering their services citing unappealing salary rates by the university.

The lecturers complained their salaries were eroded by inflation while LSU said its parent ministry had not approved of an increment.

LSU threatened to hire external lecturers, if internal lecturers failed to accept the offer they suggested.

The university has now done so as it flighted an advertisement – July 22, 2019, where the Department of Development Studies advertised vacancies for programmes – the Diploma in Development Studies, Bachelor of Science Honours in Peace, Conflict and Security Studies and Bachelor of Science Honours in Development Studies.

When contacted for a comment, LSU Director of Marketing and Communications, Zwelithini Dlamini confirmed the institution was recruiting more lectures.

“Yes, it is true that we are recruiting lectures but let me clarify that our lecturers are not on strike. Their contracts have just elapsed and we are still trying to convince and engage them to sign new contracts,” he claimed.

He added that the lecturers who were at the university were taken on a part time basis but were now experienced, of which LSU had hoped to rope them in for their services.

“The part time lecturers have been teaching well but we have not yet reached an agreement with them as engagements are still on-going. We are, however, hopeful that the discussions will yield good results,” said the communications director.

Dlamini noted that in the meantime, the LSU management decided to open up space for those who were willing to take up these classes.

“Block and parallel programmes were taught by part time lecturers so as I indicated, we are negotiating with the part timers who still want a review of their rates,” he said.

However, it seems the university had not communicated with the discontented lecturers on its latest position.

In an interview with CITE, LSU Academic Staff Association Secretary General, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda said he heard about the advertisements from unofficial channels.

“I am told the university is advertising through the departments yet we have been continually engaging for a better solution. We hope to find each other,” he summed.

Lecturers at LSU are paid ZW$550 per module, if they take on block and parallel classes.

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