Solomon Islands National University ends Employment Contracts for Academic Staff

A weird situation has occured at the Solomon Islands National University where all employment contracts for academic staff has ended.  According to the Solomong Star, until last month it is the students who faced an uncertain future as Government officials and the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Management grappled with the issue of allowing students with outstanding tuition fees to sit their First Semester exams.

That was been successfully resolved and some 6, 000 students who would have been locked out from sitting the exams were allowed to sit their week-long exams, which ended on Thursday 2nd July.

Now it appears it is the turn of the SINU academic staff.

They have been informed their employment contracts lapsed on 2nd July – the same day students completed their exams.

Solomon Star has obtained a copy of a confidential Memo, which informed staff that their employment contracts have ended. The undated Memo was signed by the Director of SINU’s Human Resources (HR), Noelyn Biliki.

On the subject, “End of Employment Contract”, Ms Biliki wrote:

“This letter serves as final reminder that your fixed term employment contract with the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) will end on 2nd July 2021.

“As per the Council and Management Decision, all contracts will be advertised upon the expiry of all contractual terms. To this end, your position has been advertised, whereby you may apply, if you are interested,” the internal Memo said.

“In this regard, SINU will pay your final salary and all remunerations due to you upon completion of SINU Exit Staff Clearance Form from the HR Office ... Any repatriation costs SINU will be paid only to you when the following conditions are met:

Your application for your position or any other positions to SINU is not successful;

You completely vacate SINU quarter(s) or SINU rental accommodation that you are currently residing in

“On behalf of the University and the Vice Chancellor we wish to take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for the valuable services rendered to the University in successive contracts and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours,” the letter said.

The letter was copied to the Vice Chancellor, the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dean of Nursing, Chief Security Officer, Payroll Officer and Housing Officer.

Solomon Star understands the initial directive to terminate all contracts was given by Vice Chancellor, Ganesh, in absentia. His instruction also included all rented accommodation outside the University be terminated by the end of this month.

The move is likely to impact on the resumption of classes in the second Semester, given that it takes time to organise employment contracts. The delay in advertising academic positions in good time has been attributed in part to a legal review of the removal of the Vice Chancellor several months ago.

The case, filed by the SINU Council, is not even on the list of cases before the High Court, the High Court told Solomon Star earlier this week.

The 8, 000 or so students who enrolled at SINU this year will begin their mid semester break from next week.

Solomon Star/ Weird Pacific

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