Support staff at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) yesterday went on strike to press their employers to hike their salaries.
Taking a pattern of other strikes in the public sector, KCN workers are demanding a 75 percent salary increase to cushion them against inflation following the devaluation of the kwacha currency.
KCN College Registrar Mary Wasiri confirmed the strike and the workers’ demand, saying the strike has been going on for two weeks. But she said officials and representatives of the striking workers were working hard to end it.
Drivers, messengers, clerks and other administrative workers are among those on strike.
The industrial action has affected students in second, third and fourth year, who are currently undertaking practical clinical work and need to be constantly transported across the country.
“This is a countrywide strike. It is not a single college action. The strike was called by the University Workers Trade Union. All support staff are not working, but the lecturers, even though they have indicated that they are also unhappy, are not willing to join the strike,” Wasiri said.
She said the academic staff at the college decided not to go on strike in support of the strike due to their ethical obligations.
“Our job is to save life. The academic staff felt that while they support the actions of the other workers, they have an obligation not to withdraw their work. This is for ethical reasons. Poly and Chancellor College can withdraw their services, but we cannot,” she said.
Wasiri said the college expects the strike to come to an end soon but could not say whether it will affect the academic calendar at the university or not.
Academic staff at Chancellor College and Polytechnic are also on strike demanding pay hike.