BY ISN STAFF | August 1, 2018

The Jesuit’s Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) de Nicaragua released a statement on July 31, 2018, announcing the suspension of most of their academic programs campus activities for the month of August. The statement cited financial realities precipitated by the ongoing social unrest in the country, including lost income from academic services that could not be provided and delays in government funding being transferred from the National University Council (CNU) to the university in recent months. By constitutional mandate, dating back to the 1950’s the national government is obliged to dedicate 6% of its total budget to higher education and the CNU  is responsible for its distribution. Without the needed funds, the UCA is unable to compensate the 1,350 employees (faculty, staff, etc.) that serve over 9,000 students in a variety of ways.

Statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola located on the campus of the Universidad Centroamericana de Nicaragua [UCA Nicaragua]

From the beginning of the country-wide crisis in April, the UCA has played a pivotal role as a moral voice and place of safety for those calling attention to President Daniel Ortega’s attempts to minimize the social security system and subsequent state-sponsored attacks on peaceful protests and public actions. On May 30, the UCA became a refuge for defenseless protestors when thousands of people sought safety within the gates of the university. This followed a May 27 attack on the UCA by para-police that left no casualties but raised the sense of insecurity for campus leaders. As of mid-July, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission reported that 264 people had been killed since the protests began and that the “violence has intensified since the beginning of July.”

The UCA’s statement was originally published in Spanish on their social media channels. An English translation which was made provided by the Winds of Peace Foundation can be found below.

[SOURCES: Havana Times, Winds of Peace Foundation, UCA Nicaragua, The New York Times]

Statement from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) de Nicaragua

Suspension of Work for the Month of August  2018

Dear Collaborators of the UCA:

Given the serious situation that we are experiencing in the country, our University is going through a very difficult moment. The UCA has seen itself forced to suspend all its academic programs and most of the services that it offers to the public, which constitute sources for the generation of income for the funds of the University. In addition, there have been delays in the transfers of state funds assigned to the UCA. The CNU (National University Council) has informed us that this is due to problems of liquidity of the Ministry of the Treasury and Public Credit. In spite of all the difficulties, the University has made the maximum efforts to ensure the salary of all the staff.

The conditions described prevent the University from being able to continue dealing adequately with all its operational costs. In light of this, it is urgent to take some additional measures of austerity and cost reduction, until the current situation is overcome. In this sense, a temporary cancelation is needed to be done of the activities that are still underway, which implies the suspension for the month of August of labor contracts of an important part of our collaborators.

The figure of Suspension is the temporary interruption of the execution of the labor contract and does not terminate the established legal relationship (Art. 35 Labor Code). The Collective Suspension of Work due to Force Majeure [forces beyond our control], contemplated in the Labor Code (Art. 38) is the option that allows the labor relationship to not be canceled and is a form of ensuring the work position of each one of our collaborators. The people affected by this measure will be notified individually be the Human Resource Office.

The University is grateful for the understanding of everyone given the complex situation that we are experiencing.

July 31, 2018

1 reply
  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thus wrote Mahatma Gandhi: “The aim of university education should be to turn out true servants of the people who will live and die for the country’s freedom.”

    Reply

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