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UG workers take University to court for salaries, other payments

UGWU President, Bruce Haynes (left) looks on as a Court Marshall delivers a writ to Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi

The University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and the University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) Friday morning served a writ to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi demanding the payment of all outstanding salaries and other emoluments.

Accompanied by UGSSA Chairman, Patsy Francis andf UGWU President Bruce Haynes, a High Court Marshall served the writ to the Vice Chancellor in the Education Lecture Theatre. “We would like to serve a writ on the university because, as you know, we have not been paid and this is a recurring problem and we see no other way out but to take the university to court,” Francis told Opadeyi.

She later told reporters that the lawsuit seeks to demand that UG pays all money owed to staff. They include gratuities, book allwoances, uniform allowances and other necessities. “The university ios just falling apart and paying such a large amount of money every month to very high officials and we see no results….If the government doies not have confidence in the Vice Chancellor and give him the money to run the place, let him go. It is better we stay here and drowned by ourselves than drown paying for it,” she said. Opadeyi is a Nigeria-born national of Trinidad and Tobago.

Outside was a large group of workers who protested the non-payment of salaries for the month of March, 2014. Other workers said part-time staff were yet to be paid. The Vice Chancellor conceded that allowances were outstanding because the payment of salaries was priority.

Professor Opadeyi denied knowledge of any problem with the payment of salaries but Dr. Francis recalled that up to Thursday she had raised the issue with him.

The cash-strapped UG has been tardy with the payment of salaries, allowances, social security and income tax for several years now.