KAMPALA, UGANDA: Lecturers in public universities have declared a strike over salary enhancement, barely a week after the art teachers in primary and secondary schools laid down their tools over the same.
Through their umbrella, Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities in Uganda (FASPU), the lecturers in a June 17 letter copied to the ministries of Education, Public Service, Finance, Gender and the Parliament, among others have threatened to lay down their tools unless their salary is enhanced.
“The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the joint meeting between FASPU executive and chairpersons of the Council that was held on March 29, 2021 only suspended our industrial action. We notify you that all academic staff in public universities will resume their industrial strike if salary enhancement to the agreed targets is not addressed in the Financial Year 2022/2023,” the statement, signed by Mr. Tom Omute, the acting FASPU chairperson.
“Our members have been patient as the salary enhancement injustice continues to negatively affect them in many ways. Staff promotions have been undermined because of the huge salary differences, affecting our career growth,” the statement adds.
“Therefore, the government cannot claim that there is no money to complete our salary enhancement. Though the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports, wrote on May 3, 2022, requesting for the provision of additional Shs223.2 billion, we do not see this figure in the budget of 2022/2023,” the statement says.
The public universities in Uganda include among others; Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Makerere University Business School, Mbarara University, Gulu University, Lira University, Muni University, Kabale University, Soroti University, and Busitema University
Although staff had declared industrial action on June 4, 2020, on October 8, 2020 the executive committee of FASPU sitting at Kyambogo University requested all academic staff in all public universities to receive and teach students in final year “as our request to address the unfair salary enhancement is being handled” .
On March 1, 2021, the Minister for Education and Sports, Ms Janet Museveni, wrote to the vice-chancellors of public universities to engage FASPU to call off the industrial action as government looks into their demands.
On May 3, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ms Ketty Lamaro, wrote to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to provide additional Shs223.2 billion for purposes of meeting 100 percent agreed pay target to academic staff in public universities.
In the Financial Year 2020/2021, only Shs129.24 billion was yet to be paid. Over time, this figure has increased because the government created two more universities.
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