Makerere staff threaten to strike over delayed promotions, salary increment 

An abandoned lecture room at Makerere University during a strike in 2019. Photo | File

What you need to know:

  • All staff (academic and support) shall withdraw their labour starting November 27, 2023, if their demands are not met.

Makerere University staff members have threatened to strike over delayed promotions and salary increment, among other issues that they say have not been addressed despite several meetings held and promises made to that effect.

They made their intentions through a letter seen by this publication, under the subject; ‘reminder about the resolutions of joint staff associations assembly and extension of legal notice of intention to withdraw labour,’ dated October 13, 2023, addressed to the Vice Chancellor and received on October 24, 2023. 

The Joint Staff Association made up of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Makerere University Administrative Staff Association (MASA) and National Union of Education Institutions (NUEI) - Makerere University Branch, in their letter, highlighted resolutions they made after an earlier joint meeting.
The staff want the university to implement the harmonized salary structure with a tune of over Shs12 billion being identified to accomplish the harmonization.

They also demanded “that all pending staff promotions for academic, administrative and support staff should be effected and specified the filling of vacant positions occupied in acting capacity for administrative and support staff with wage to be filled substantively through internal adverts.”
The letter further indicated that “the process to inaugurate the Staff Tribunal Members should be expedited.” 

All staff (academic and support) shall withdraw their labour starting November 27, 2023, if their demands are not met.
The deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Professor Umar Kakumba, told this reporter that the issues of salary enhancement are beyond the University.

“The staff associations wrote a letter indicating their concerns and we met a week and a half ago, and we agreed on some. The issues of harmonization of salaries are beyond the university. The issues are being handled by the Ministry of Public Service. So that is between the Ministry of Public Service and then Finance,” Prof Kakumba said. 
Professor Kakumba also said the inauguration of the staff tribunals will be organized soon. 
“The tribunal got a new chairperson and the inauguration should be organized soon. That is before the council. So that should not be an issue,” he said.

According to him, the university has come a long way with the issue of salaries and promotions, and that they are “positive that the government will continue with the support.”
The university has over the past years been involved in several industrial actions from lecturers over different demands, with salaries being the biggest issues.