Union slams university

THE University of the South Pacific Staff Union Association has labelled the dealings of the university with 36 of its union members as bad faith.

Association general secretary Litiana Waqalevu said the association filed two dispute claims with the Department of Labour over what she claimed was the unfair dismissal of its members.

Mrs Waqalevu said the first dispute was failing to comply with Section 107 of the Employers Relations Promulgation and the second dispute was on redundant workers not paid to the end of their contract.

According to Mrs Waqalevu, most of the members signed contracts that ended on December 31, next year.

“Termination is on a last in first out basis, voluntarily, those wanting to take packages and that was not at all followed by USP.

“They went ahead and did up the redundancy packages. Once that was done they went ahead and complied with sending people home,” she said.

Mrs Waqalevu said on April 3, many union members still had no idea as to who was going home and who were being redeployed.

She said of the 36 members who were given redundancy packages, six were redeployed.

“We received the list of names from the university at 11:30am that same day, by then there were a lot of staff who were here because when they came to work that morning and were not allowed in,” she said.

In a statement issued on Friday, USP stated it followed procedures outlined in the ERP in dealing with USP staff members receiving redundancy packages.

“As earlier stated, The University of the South Pacific wishes to confirm that the provisions of the Employment Relations laws and the agreements with the unions were complied with in this process,” the statement read.

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