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More than 100 administrative employees at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), the oldest higher education institution in the country, stopped work in Maputo yesterday, in protest at the non-payment of their 2016 annuity bonuses.
A group of employees from different faculties gathered on the main campus at around 7:30 a.m. to express their dissatisfaction to a UEM board of directors meeting.
The UEM annuity bonus was initiated in 1994 and is awarded to employees who have been in the institution for more than 15 years.
Spokesman António Muzimba told the press that staff had tried to meet the institution’s directorate several times to find a solution to the problem together, and that the latter had given written pledges to pay the amount in March.
“We tried to talk with the directorate. We were told that part of the value would be paid as soon as it was completed. But since March, nothing has happened. We are trying to hold discussions with the management, but they are not open to talks,” he explained.
The director of the Rector’s office, Manuel Cabinda, met a group of 10 employees to discuss the content of their demands, but the meeting ended without an understanding being reached, in part because the strikers wanted to meet the rector himself, a request which was made three months ago but had not been responded to.
After intermediation, the workers were received by the rectorate, at the end of which the group publicly stated that dialogue between the parties had been initiated.
A document made available by the rector’s office, to which the Diario de Moçambique had access, indicates that in 2015 the effective bonus accounted for 14 percent of payroll, corresponding to 17.4 million meticais for a total of 1,027 employees.
The figure for 2016 would be 17 percent for a total of 1,118 employees, equivalent to 20.8 million meticais.
The document points to a budget deficit for the university of about 98 million meticais, which would compromise expenditure on broadband internet, scholarships within the country, water and electricity, security, and rental of the ECA [Escola de Comunicação e Artes] building, among other things.
Figures for last year show the UEM proposed a budget of 343 million meticais, but only 138 million was approved.
In addition to the effectiveness bonuses, the UEM is bound to pay teachers overtime and fuel and telephone subsidies.
Measures to reduce the deficit include an increase in the price of student meals from 14 meticais to 35, and of accommodation from 750 meticais to 1,100.Source: Diário de Moçambique
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