Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) staff have stayed for a month without working because college management is yet to give them feedback on their grievances that led to a strike and subsequent closure of the college.

Elliot Matoga, chairperson of staff affairs committee at MCHS Blantyre campus, said in an interview on Wednesday they met the college board twice since the beginning of the sit-in on September 30.The students pretend to be mourning fees hike at Lilongwe Civic Offices

He said the board promised them that it was working on resolving the issue, but they are yet to get feedback. Initially, the staff, who claimed to be the least paid among training institutions run by statutory corporations, demanded 150 percent increment, but reduced the percentage to 60 on the understanding that the 90 percent balance be settled in two years.

Said Matoga: “Still they told us that the Treasury had told them it could not afford to effect a 60 percent increment due to financial constraints and we gave them a chance to make an offer on what they can afford. We have been waiting to hear from them since.”

Students from the college are expected to sit for their end of second semester examinations this December.

The institution graduates about 400 students a year.

According to Matoga, they have been negotiating with the board for the re-alignment of the salaries and improvement of conditions of services for over six years, forcing them to issue a 14-day ultimatum in July this year and eventually the sit-in.

MCHS board chairperson Peter Chimimba refused to comment on the matter, referring The Nation to the institution’s executive director Tanack Masache whose phone went unanswered after several attempts.

MCHS was formed by a merger of Lilongwe School of Health Sciences (LSHS) in Lilongwe, the Medical Assistants Training School (Mats) in Blantyre and the Zomba School of Nursing (ZSN) in Zomba.

The merger of the three campuses was through government order dated June 21 1996.

The college offers certificates and diplomas in biomedical science, clinical medicine, nursing science and midwifery, dental therapy, ophthalmology, p h a r m a c y, o p t o m e t r y, environmental health, community nursing, psychiatric nursing and radiography.

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