SINU CLASH

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Kukum campus of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).
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Staff hit out at ‘mass termination’

By EDDIE OSIFELO

THE 230 terminated staff at Solomon Islands National University (SINU) have rebuffed statements by the Minister of Education and Human Resources Lanelle Tanangada.

This was after Tanangada denied any mass termination of SINU staff when asked by Leader of Parliament, Mathew Wale in Parliament last week.

A spokesperson for the SINU terminated staff said the front-page article on Friday 29th July, captioned “SINU’S TORN SINEWS” is an eyebrow-raising and thought-provoking example of the type of misleading and twisted fabrication of truth surrounding the so-called recruitment policy or restructure exercise carried out by the Executive Management Committee of the SINU Council.

“The first paragraph of the article which reads (quote) “Minister of Education and Human Resources, Lanelle Tanangada has denied any mass termination of Solomon Islands National University (SINU) staff” (end quote) speaks volumes of the type of information passed to the Honorable minister.

“Two can happen here – either the minister is out of touch with what is really happening on the grounds or, secondly, the minister is miserably misinformed by the Council or SINU management with what is really going on in SINU. This calls for investigation into the practices of SINU’s mismanagement,” spokesperson said.

“It was said that employees can apply for the position they hold.

“However, one wonders how that can be so when the restructure has suggestions of a need for a higher qualification to fill in the post?” he said.

The spokesperson said mass termination is not the issue, but the PROCESS taken to allow this to happen begs a lot of questions from the Management.

“Can SINU save money by slowly, over time, recruit new, qualified and able employees, which will allow for the traditional hand-over take-over process to take place?

“To some commentators they view this exercise as a way that the management wants to get rid of employees who may know some things which must come out in public,” he said.

“By recruiting new employees, the management seem to want to hide some of these practices.

“With the abruption and fast recruitment process, SINU is sweeping out the door of employees who “know how” things are done to assist SINU and the “know where” to find what is needed to move SINU forward,” he said.

The spokesperson said SINU is disadvantaging her employees who served her well, and now are leaving them without any payments to assist them to make ends meet while SINU completes her recruitment process.

“This is inhuman and a crime against humanity. Authorities are asked to look seriously into this tip of iceberg as much more is hidden from view.

“The employees pictured below had their contracts ended on June 30 and July 2, but are still waiting for their repatriation and other dues,” he said.

“They cannot just wait without money for this long.

“SINU needs to do something drastic to save these people who are stranded because of the management decision to quickly terminate their contracts without due thought on how it will not only affect these people, but more so, the operation of SINU,” he said.

About 123 academic staffs and 107 support services staff are affected by the exercise.

This include 34 in Faculty of Education and Humanities, 29 in Faculty of Science and Technology, 17 in Faculty of Business and Tourism, 18 in Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science is 17 and Distant Flexible Learning is 8.

About 70 percent of these staffs were former staff of the then Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.

Almost 90 percent of them have a basic degree in teaching streams while large numbers in the TVET areas have only certificates.

The administrative department is dominated by staff with diplomas and certificates.

Tanangada said as SINU Council resolution dated 22nd June 2015, all positions must be advertised in the open market before the contracts expired.

She said following a period over eight years now as per SINU Council resolution, which was dated 29th of March 2021, the management has now considered it most appropriate to execute the recruitment policy smoothly and seamlessly for purposes of upgrading the quality of the programmes offer at SINU and attracting competent administrative support staffs.

Tanangada said interviewing of applicants are currently ongoing and expect all positions in academic and non-academic to be filled at the start of second semester on 8th August.


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