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No solution to Malawi College of Health Sciences strike

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Students at Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) will have to wait longer before they resume learning as Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has refused to toe the students’ line.

The students have been pressuring the OPC to fast-track the reopening of the college which was closed due to an industrial strike by the college’s staff who were demanding a pay rise as well as to be put on pension cover.

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In response to the petition the students presented to OPC on October 26 2018, Principal Secretary in the OPC Cliff Chiunda said the students should be calm as concerned parties are working on resolving the issue.

“I was following the events with keen interest [sic] concerning reasons leading to the strike. I would like to inform you that my office was in constant touch with the Ministry of Health in order to resolve the issue,” reads part of the letter.

The college has been closed for two months following the staff strike.

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The closure of the college forced students to seek OPC’s intervention.

Chiunda said the strike by the employees was legal and that the demand by the striking employees required the involvement of other stakeholders such as board members.

“I am glad to inform you that there are positive developments to resolve the issue. In this vein, I would like to ask all students unions of Malawi College of Health Sciences to remain calm and peaceful so that issues should be concluded with sober minds,” he said

President of the college’s students’ union Ison Bond, in an interview Tuesday said they are not satisfied with the response.

“We are not satisfied with the response. We need the exact date when we are going back to school,” he said

He said the union has given a deadline of December 31 2018 for management to communicate the next date of reopening the college.

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