The lecturers at the Eastern Polytechnic College along Combema Road in Kenema City have on Monday 15/12/08 staged a strike action saying they will not go to work until their demands are met.
The strike action which took effect at the time when about 80% of the students have fully paid their college fees and they were half way into their first term exam.
Speaking to the press at the college campus along Combema road in Kenema city, the Secretary General of the senior staff Association Ambrose Sandi says the reason for the strike action is in line with the review of their conditions of service which he stated is a statue that enhanced the establishment of Eastern Polytechnic in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Sandi further explained that for every three years the conditions of service for lecturers must be reviewed. He added that since the establishment of the Eastern Polytechnic in 2000 there had been no review of conditions of service for lecturers. Mr. Sandi further revealed that in 2006 there was a strike action by the lecturers under the then Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government adding that they were given a ten percent payment until such time when their conditions of service shall have been improved since then they are on the same footing.
He says with the change of government they have also engaged the All People’s Congress (APC) government and wrote several letters to several quarters concerning their plight but no action was taken. He described their action as an unfortunate condition taken not to create any embarrassment for students but to ensure that their welfare is being taken care of by the government.
Answering questions on how long the strike action is going to last he said as long as they hear from the government any positive move in solving their plight.
Meanwhile the President of the Eastern Polytechnic Student Union Mohamed A. Jaward described the action as unfortunate and disappointing on their part as students especially the greater part of them have paid their yearly fees.
In a meeting held by the Students Union of the college at Ahmad Tejan Kabbah hall at the college campus concerning the strike action, Jaward says they have decided to stage a meeting with stakeholders in Kenema to discuss the way forward on the matter. He maintained that strike actions will deprive the students especially at this crucial time when the students were half way in their exams. Jaward is appealing to all student union members to exercise restraint until the issue is addressed by the authorities concerned.