Kampala- Makerere University staff have accepted a two-week request by their employers to allow them find a solution to the delayed payment of their two-month incentives.
This comes at the heels of fresh staff threats not to begin the new semester unless they are paid their dues which the university council promised last year following a month-long strike.
On June 26, the chairpersons of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa), the National Union for Education Institutions in Uganda and the Makerere University Administrative Staff Association wrote to the University Council demanding for the payment of their incentives for the months of May and June. They had given the university up to July 4.
However, following a Friday meeting with the university management, the staff leadership agreed to the former’s request of two weeks.
“We agreed to give them two weeks to sort out their house. An incentive is not a privilege or bonus. Our concern is not knowing what went wrong but when they are paying us,” Mr Louis Kakinda, the Muasa spokesperson, told the Daily Monitor yesterday.
The university management reported a Shs23.1billion shortfall in their budget for the 2013/14 academic year, hence being unable to meet lecturers’ demands.
According to Ms Ritah Namisango, the university spokesperson, the university had projected to raise Shs122.6 billion but fell short of Shs23.1 billion.
As a result, the institution could not pay their staff the 70 per cent incentive for the months of May and June.
Mr Namisango said: “All efforts are being made to investigate the causes of the short fall and as such, the university management has requested for more time to enable them to address this matter.”
She explained that money meant for lecturers’ incentives in last financial year’s budget was used to clear some of the arrears of the 2007/2008 financial year.
“There are certain arrears which were paid during the Financial Year 2013/2014, but were not part of this financial year’s budget. These included external examiners’ bills, contract Staff, service providers, unpaid bills from colleges,” she added.
“These bills date as far back as Financial Year 2007/2008 and this affected the implementation of the planned activities, including the May and June 2014 incentive.”