The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale has called on the government to urgently resolve outstanding issues affecting the programs of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), including matters relating to the work permits of all the institute’s expatriate staff.
“It is understood that the Commissioner of Labour has sided with local SINU staff and ordered that all expatriate staff remain in their homes and not perform any work. This is a most absurd situation.
“SINU is an extension of the government, and therefore expatriates working for SINU can be lawfully exempted from normal residence and work permit requirements,” says Hon. Wale.
The Opposition Leader says, the absurdity of this situation is made worse by victimizing innocent students whose classes are affected.
“It seems, the Commissioner of Labour has not given any consideration to the impact on students as lecturers are ordered to stay home.
“It is also understood that expatriate staff have not attended to lectures for at least three weeks now,” says Hon. Wale.
Hon. Wale adds that it is important to allow the processes to deal with the issues and allegations to conclude, and that the outcomes are respected.
“However, in the meantime it is even more important that classes continue as normal and students are able to attend face to face lectures,” the Opposition Leader further added.
Hon. Wale therefore calls on the Prime Minister to step in and direct that the Commissioner of Labour revoke his order and allow common sense to prevail in this matter.
He says the students have suffered enough of missed lectures because of the early closure of SINU due to Covid-19 in the first semester, and should not be further victimized by poor decision making.
Opposition Press Statement