The University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) says staff at the institution are working under frustrating conditions because of failure by management to meet contractual obligations.

And the University of Zambia has awarded 41 employees in recognition for their hard work, dedication to duty, outstanding performance, innovativeness and reliability.

Speaking at the special Labour Day award ceremony held at the institution yesterday afternoon, UNZALARU president Dr Evans Lampi said members of staff were constantly being subjected to frustrating conditions arising from the breach of contractual obligations by the institution.

“The suffering members of staff at the University of Zambia should not be ignored, pacified or threatened into accepting the non-payment of what is rightfully theirs and the K7 million Kwacha allocated towards the liquidation of the debt leaves much to be desired,” Dr Lampi said.

He said as a public institution, the University of Zambia’s welfare was in the hands of government, and it was not logical for those in charge of public learning institution to keep a blind eye when lecturers were not getting their dues.

“The attitude exhibited by both government and management when in breach of financial obligations is unrealistic and outside the norms of good labour relations,” said Dr Lampi.

“W urge government and management to take the calls seriously on matters relating to unpaid statutory obligations such as gratuities, pensions, excess teaching to late payments of salaries as well as delayed negotiations, which are creating an atmosphere of extreme tension.”

Sixteen of the award recipients were picked from the University of Zambia Allied Workers Union (UNZAAWU), 15 from the University of Zambia Professional Staff Union (UNZAPROSU) and 10 from the UNZALARU.

Professor Mweene from the School of Veterinary Medicine was awarded after serving the University for 27 years, Victor Kapembwa from the Registrars unit was also award for exemplary dedication to duty in the 21 years of service.

Others were Hangandu from the School of Education and Dr Fatima Mangu from the School of Law.

Speaking at the wards ceremony, University of Zambia vice Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba said the efforts and innovation and endurance from the staff were not going unnoticed.

Professor Mumba urged the recipients of the awards to continue working hard in order to strengthen their resolve to ensure that the University of Zambia continues to be a source of pride for the nation.

Labour day is held in honour of all workers and it falls on the 1st of May every year but the University of Zambia chooses a different day on which hardworking employees are awarded.