USP staff unions demand a second legal opinion
February 17, 2021 9:09 am
The University of the South Pacific Staff Union and the Association of USP Staff are demanding that the USP Council Sub-Committee obtain a second independent legal opinion before presenting its report.
Both unions have raised concerns on a statement by Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in relation to USP lawyer Jon Apted of Munro Leys and Professor Pal Ahluwalia’s deportation earlier this month.
Sayed-Khaiyum had informed parliament that the advice from Munro Leys to USP was that Ahluwalia’s contract had been deemed to be terminated because of the revocation of his work permit.
A Sub-Committee was set-up after the deportation of Professor Ahluwalia to look at whether he could still be the Vice-Chancellor from outside Fiji.
Jon Apted in his capacity as the USP lawyer is understood to have given advice that the Vice-Chancellor contract for Ahluwalia is now terminated.
Union President Tarisi Vacala and Staff Association President Elizabeth Reade Fong claim the USP Council as Professor Pal’s employer has not revoked his contract.
They also claim that the Council has agreed to pay Ahluwalia his salary and full benefits including reinstatement of his official email until a final decision is made.
The unions claim to have over 500 print and 5,000 online petition signatures from students, staff and alumni in support of good governance and Professor Pal.