The non-teaching staff members of public universities have vowed to continue their strike after failure to come to agreement with the Minister of Education, Janet Kataaha Museveni on Monday.
The over 2000 members in attendance were not convinced by the issues the minister had as an explanation for the long outstanding arrears and the failure for implementation of the President’s promise to increase their salaries.
Honourable Museveni said that 28bn for arrears and 28.5bn for enhanced salaries, had not been included in this year’s budget but would be got from a supplementary budget.
This information did not please the non-teaching staff members and therefore they are bound to carry on their strike.
“We are appealing to government to reconsider their position quickly. The status quo of the industrial action remains. We must keep our tools down. What we want is the consensus note implemented. Failure to do that, we shall keep our tools down,” said Jackson Betihamah, The chairman of Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Association.
“Those [students from closed universities] are your children and you must take care of them. If they are not there, you will not get jobs…Your increment will come two months from now,” pleaded Museveni as she begged the members to revise their actions.
The efforts of the minister to convince them to pick up their tools and get back to work were futile and not even the pleas of the other ministers, Matia Kasaija for Finance, Muruli Mukasa for Public service, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo for Higher Education and Rosemary Senninde for Primary Education present seemed to have been given a listening ear.
The strike therefore carries on which continues to cripple the normal running of institutions and this situation also continues to frustrate not only the students but also the teaching staff.
The fate of the new academic year that is supposed to have started also currently remains unclear.