On Thursday August 1, 2019, academic and non-teaching staff in all government Universities launched a sit down strike to press government to release all due and outstanding funds for their salary enhancement.
Makerere University, for one, had withdrawn staff promotions after realising that the University is counting shortages in salaries of 7.59 billion Shillings, as a result of promotion of 170 academic staff, recruitment of 109 academic staff and 127 who were originally on short term contracts.
The Vice Chancellor, Makerere University, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe has issued a statement to the entire University body to help clarify on the general happenings at the campus.
Dear Colleagues and students,
This afternoon the Vice Chancellors of public universities held a meeting with the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni, the Minister of Public Service, Hon. Mukasa Muruli, the Minister of State for Finance (General Duties), Hon. Gabriel Ajedra the Minister of State for Primary Education, Hon. Rosemary Seninde and technocrats from the three ministries. We discussed with the ministers issues affecting public universities, including staff welfare, staff recruitment and promotion, budgets for public universities, and others.
On salary enhancement, we were informed that Government was facing constraints in enhancing salaries of public servants generally due to the many on-going infrastructure developments. It was noted, however, that despite these constraints Government has so far enhanced salaries of staff of public universities by 64% basing on the pledge by H.E. The President, while salaries of other public servants had been increased by 20% only. Despite the financial constraints, Government has allocated the sum of UGX 15 billion for enhancement of salaries of staff of public universities in the FY 2019/20. Payments under this enhancement will commence in Quarter II of the financial year, i.e. in October 2019. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Service has issued a letter confirming the allocation by Government of UGX 15 billion towards enhancement of salaries of staff at public universities in the Financial Year 2019/20.
The Vice Chancellors acknowledged the efforts by Government to address the issue of enhancement of salaries of staff at public universities amidst the economic challenges, but requested Government to come up with a new schedule for fulfilling the Presidential pledge.
I take this opportunity to inform all stakeholders that Makerere University will remain open for normal business and will open for freshers on 3rd August 2019 and for the continuing students on 10th August 2019 as scheduled. I therefore call on all members of staff to report for duty accordingly and prepare to receive our students and provide the quality service they expect from us, as usual. Management, together with the other Vice Chancellors of public universities will continue with engagements with Government in order to find a solution to the issue of the Presidential Pledge and other staff welfare issues.
I thank you.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe