A senior lecturer at the Economics Department of Fourah Bay College (FBC) has disclosed that the Academic Staff Association (ASA) has no legitimacy to embark on the current strike action, adding that the development was a strategy to undermine the efforts of the college administration.
Dr. Denis Sandy, speaking to Concord Times in an exclusive interview yesterday, described the latest ASA strike action as “unacceptable and illegitimate” as the mandate of the current ASA executive had expired two years ago.
He said it was unfortunate that a handful of lecturers would embark on an industrial action on the day the college was due to re-open, following three weeks of enforced closure to allow students to pay their tuition fees and register for the new academic year.
The economics professor said the ASA decision would affect both the smooth running of the institution and students who are on the verge of taking their final examinations, adding that such action has the potential of depriving students of their legitimate right of achieving higher education.
“I want the general public to know that ASA has no business to organise a strike action; this is a strategy conducted by few individuals to present a negative picture of the college to members of the public. This is unacceptable and it must stop because posterity will judge us by our actions,” said the firebrand lecturer.
He maintained that the strike action was not a unanimous decision of all ASA members, and that lecturers who are against it have been going on campus to deliver lectures.
Asked if he was worried that the strike action could go on for weeks, he said, “I am not worried about this because I know at the end of the day these lecturers will start operations shortly.”
However, President of ASA, Dr. Charles Silver, told our reporter that Dr. Sandy was completely misinformed about the operations of ASA, insisting their action was legitimate and in the interest of all FBC lecturers.
He said the current strike action came about after the FBC administration reneged on an agreement it had signed with ASA in 2011to improve conditions of service of lecturers.
“It is actually disheartening that Dr. Sandy is going with the wrong concept of our action; with all due respect to him, he is ignorant of the fact that the college administration has called for a meeting on Friday for us to meet and discuss. The college administration has already informed students that lectures have been suspended until Friday the 8th April, 2016 after our meeting with them.
“So if we were not legitimate as stated by Dr. Sandy, there was no need for the college administration to have called on us for negotiation. He only wants to make cheap popularity out of this situation,” Dr. Silver said.