Mak staff demand pay for working in lockdown

Monday August 24 2020
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Makerere University main building. The affected staff insist they want their allowances because they risked their lives and have since spent a lot of money on transport to come to work. PHOTO | FILE

Makerere University staff who worked during the Covid-19 lockdown are demanding their allowances even after they were informed that there is no money.

On August 20, Mr Yusuf Kiranda, the acting university secretary, wrote to all staff stating that the university is faced with financial constraints and therefore, does not have money to address the claims.

“The office of the university bursar has indicated that there are continuous claims from staff for payment of allowances for having worked during Covid-19 lockdown,” the letter reads in part.

“This is to inform you that the university is faced with limitations in cash releasing and has been required to be frugal on expenditure. As a result, several consumptive items, including claims for allowance-related working during the Covid-19 lockdown cannot be honoured,” the letter adds.

However, the affected staff insist they want their allowances because they risked their lives and have since spent a lot of money on transport to come to work.

Mr Stephen Kalema, the deputy chairperson of Makerere University Administrative Staff Association, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the workers, especially the non-teaching staff, have been working even when the university was closed.

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“There are people who made requisitions and they got their money but there are some who did not get anything, especially those in colleges. I was shocked by the letter written by the university secretary saying they are going to be stringent with money and yet they called the staff and promised to pay them,” Mr Kalema said.

He said the staff have been conducting interviews for replacement of teaching staff, certifying academic documents of former students and handling admissions of private students which were released last week.

When contacted, Mr Kiranda said the university would hold a meeting this week and discuss how to handle the situation.

Other staff who have been working are cleaners, custodians, security officers, secretaries in the main building and other administrative staff.

Others were recalled to work on the Public University Joint Admissions Board system that crashed in April.

dmukhaye@ug.nationmedia.com

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