Staffs representatives from nine Public Universities are expected to meet President, Yoweri Museveni to discuss the delayed salary enhancement. Khalid Mahmoud, the deputy spokesperson Gulu University, says he received an invitation to meet the President at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday to discuss their salary matters. Both teaching and non-teaching staffs across public universities laid down their tool early this month to compel government to fulfill the president’s directive to enhance their salaries.
Mahmoud, who doubles as the Gulu University Academic Staff Association (GUASA) chairperson, says each public university is expected to send four staff representatives for the meeting with the president. He says each university will be represented by two leaders from the Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities (FASPU) and Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executive Forum (PUNTSEF).
He says after the meeting, they will meet on Wednesday to discuss the outcome of the State House meeting. Gulu University Staff under their umbrella body Gulu University Staff Association (GUASA) and National Union of Educational Institution (NUEI) on August 1st went on an industrial strike.
Mahmoud says they will not call off the strike even when the first semester commences on August 12th, 2019. ‘’Students can report to the university but we cannot take part in the orientation because we are not working. Only few offices are receiving admissions, the health center is functioning and only heads of departments are active.’’ Mahmoud told URN during an interview.
In 2015, Museveni directed the enhancement of salaries of staff in Public Universities with a Professor earning at least Shillings 15 million each month from the current Shillings 2 million.
The Finance, Planning and Economic Development Ministry decided to phase the enhanced of the salaries over a period of five years ending in the financial year 2019/2020.
However, the staff says the salary enhancement isn’t reflected in the salary structure for the 2019/2020 financial year issued by the Ministry of Public Service.
Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the Permanent Secretary Public Service Ministry issued a circular to Vice-Chancellors of public universities announcing that Shillings 15 billion had been earmarked to pay the striking staff.
Musingwiire said this is part of the Shillings 150 billion meant for enhancing the salaries for all public officers. At least Shillings 138 billion is needed for the enhancement of the salary of staff in all public universities. Shillings 58.5 billion is meant for arrears while 78.5 billion Shillings is for enhancement for the 2018/2019 financial year.