20 Mar 2006

PNG university vice chancellor warns against further damaging strike action

7:17 pm on 20 March 2006

The University of Papua New Guinea's Vice Chancellor, Professor Leslie Eastcott, says further strike action would have a detrimental effect on the university.

The National Academic Staff Association wants him and several other senior executives to be suspended, or staff will strike.

The union wants the suspension while the Ombudsman Commission investigates a huge planned payout to Professor Eastcott and other senior staff.

The Vice Chancellor says plans for strike action need to go through the proper channels and are likely to be at least two weeks away.

Professor Eastcott says he will continue to work until his entitlements are met and he is compensated for the pain and suffering resulting from last year's student unrest.

And he says he has the support of the ombudsman's office over strike action.

"The ombudsman's chief investigator [today MON] he made it very clear that he thought it would not be in the interests of the university nor in the interests of any of the parties for there to be ongoing threats or disputes within the university while the ombudsman was reaching his own conclusions."

Professor Eastcott says the Ombudsman's Office has promised to complete its investigation as soon as possible.