Special Reports

Gov’t gives in so varsities end salaries strike



Representatives of Government and the leadership of Non-Teaching Staff of Public Universities met Wednesday 12 August 2015 in a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr Ruhakana Rugunda to address the concerns of the Non-Teaching Staff in Public Universities arising from their industrial action.

According to Hon Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Government appreciated the concerns raised by the Non-Teaching staff and agreed to ensure equity in the salary enhancement across categories of staff in Public Universities, Government will with effect from next FY 2016/17 enhance salaries for the Non-Teaching Staff.

“The Salary arrears arising out of non-payment of enhanced salaries in the FY 2015/16 shall be paid in a phased manner starting in FY 2016/17 and ending in FY 2017/18.”

“The leadership of the non-teaching staff of public universities appreciated the offer from government and under took to consult their membership for ratification and would report back to Government by Midday Monday 17 August, 2015,” Kasaija said.

Last month, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports invited the leadership of the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Forum for an emergency meeting ahead of their planned strike over a pay rise.

Education Minister Jessica Alupo sent out the invite a few days to the planned strike by the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff.

In June this year, the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff announced plans to lay down their tools on August 3rd unless government gives them a pay rise just like it was done to the teaching staff.

Inspite of the meeting, non-teaching staff at Kyambogo University laid down their tools to protest the delayed release of the Mutanzidwa report.

In 2012, Education and Sports Minister Jessica Alupo set up a committee chaired by Huzaifa Mutazindwa, the director Education Standards Agency to review the salaries and wages of all staff.

The strike was to later be picked up by other three public universities which postponed the opening of the new semester.

They are Gulu, Busitema and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

State Minister of Finance in charge of Planning, David Bahati, later pleaded with them to call off strike.

Bahati explained that though a total of Shs 415bn had earlier been proposed for both teaching and non-teaching staff a Universities only Shs 50bn could be got for the lecturers.

He concurred with Kasaija who has promised the remaining balance to be secured in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Apparently, First Year students will report on Saturday August 22, 2015 and continuing students will report on Monday August 24, 2015.

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