BY ALEX DADAMU
IN a new wave of demands, the Solomon Islands National University Council had sought the legality of the two University’s Associations.
The two University Associations namely, SINU General Staff Association (SINUGSA) and Lecturers Association SINU (LASINU) are questioned whether they are registered unions under the Registrar General’s Office in accordance and compliance of the Trade Unions Act.
According to a SINU Council statement on Tue 30th June, the Registrar General’s Office has informed the Council by a letter of confirmation, that they have no record of the two associations as registered unions.
In a letter dated, 30th June 2020, the Chair of Council, Dr. Culwick Togamana, who is also the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management, has written to the two Associations advising them of the letter of confirmation from the Registrar General’s Office and asking them to provide their “Certificates of Registration” if they disagreed with the Registrar General’s Office letter of confirmation.
Dr. Togamana in his letter as Chair of the University’s Council indicated that if the two Unions fail to prove their legal status as unions representing the SINU staff by Thursday 2nd July 2020, the University will seriously consider withdrawing recognition of the two Associations.
The question of the legality of the Associations comes after the Associations demanded the Chair of Council to terminate the Vice-Chancellor and failing that, the combined Associations members will withdraw their services from the University.
The Associations demanded the termination of the Vice-Chancellor with the ultimatum of withdrawing of services by Friday 3rd July 2020.
A SINU Council statement revealed that Dr. Togamana as the Chair of Council has responded to the call by the two (2) Associations confirming that given some new allegations being brought, to give the Vice-Chancellor the opportunity to respond to the allegations, especially the new ones.
It was understood that the Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ganesh Chand is still overseas and according to the SINU Council statement, upon his return, he will respond to the allegations, since the University Council will be in a better position to consider the Associations’ request.
“The University feels that the two Associations are acting in bad faith by using militaristic methods to demand the removal of the Vice-Chancellor, instead of following the grievance policy of the University to deal with matters of this nature,” the SINU statement said.