Wednesday July 23 2014

MUK staff to meet management on Thursday over pay



Makerere University staff members have accepted to wait until Thursday when the institution’s management will give them feedback on their unpaid incentive since May.
Dr Muhammed Kiggundu, the academic staff association chairperson told Daily Monitor that the executive members for both teaching and non-teaching staff associations had a meeting on Tuesday and agreed to wait for management’s response tomorrow, following the VC Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu’s plea for more time to collect information in a bid to find the workers’ pay.
“We have agreed that we shall wait until Thursday as requested by management. People are here patient and working. We have been accepting their different extensions and we know that management wants the university to open. We believe they shall respond positively,” Dr Kiggundu said.
He also advised management to seek audience from the President who earlier promised to meet them in July to look at their issues and find a lasting solution. The staff members also want to meet the Council, the university’s top decision making organ after the Thursday meeting with management.
On Tuesday, Prof Ddumba, appealed to staff to be patient with them as they had not gathered all the information from the university’s 10 colleges. Only six college principals had submitted their data by Friday last week.
Makerere University academic and support staff, through their umbrella associations, Makerere University Academic Staff Association, Makerere University Administrative Staff Association and National Union for Education Institutions in Uganda wrote to the University Council, last month warning that they will not teach in the new academic year opening in August, unless they are paid their 70 per cent salary increment.
Subsequently, Dr Charles Wana-Etyem, the council chairperson, directed management to meet the staff and find a solution to their grievances. In the meeting, Prof Ddumba requested the staff for two weeks to investigate what had gone wrong which was granted. These ended on Friday. But in a statement to staff on Friday, Prof Ddumba explained that they would meet on Tuesday (July 22nd ) to look at the available resources and find a solution before giving the feedback on Thursday.
Had earlier told his staff that they had failed to pay the incentive because of a shortfall in the expected university income.
“The University did not realize its projected total revenue for the financial year 2013/2014 amounting to Shs122.6 billion. All efforts are being made to investigate the causes of the short fall of Shs23.1billion, and as such, the university management has requested for more time to enable them to address this matter,” he said.
Prof Ddumba also added that they had accumulated arrears which, although unplanned for in the 2013/13 academic year, were cleared. This affected their budget.
But the aggrieved staff insist that they will not work unless they are given their dues.
The incentive was promised last year after the lecturers put down their tools demanding for a 100 per cent salary increment. Instead, management gave them a 70 per cent salary increment which they termed as incentive. They were however, supposed to continue engaging government to increase their salaries. Close to a year now, the university is yet to pay them their incentives.