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Govt stops July salary of all university staff

Today marks 17 days since support staff at Kyambogo and Makerere universities went on strike over unfair distribution of their enhanced salaries for the financial year 2017/18.

The workers, united as the National Union of Educational Institutions (NUEI), have held several meetings with government in vain. YUDAYA NANGONZI has followed the matter.

The industrial action at Makerere and Kyambogo universities has not only affected support staff but sucked in academic staff across all public universities. Initially, the academic staff and some non-teaching staff whose salaries were ‘appropriately’ enhanced looked on as their counterparts went on strike.

In a July 1, 2017 circular, the permanent secretary ministry of Public Service, Catherine Musingwiire, indicated an enhanced salary structure for public universities.

“Due to limited financial resources, government has not been able to enhance salaries for public officers for financial year 2017/2018 except for teaching and non-teaching staff in public universities whose wage has been enhanced by a total of Shs 19.625bn,” reads the circular.

Makerere University

Musingwiire informed accounting officers to implement the salary changes effective July 1, 2017. The Observer has learnt that the ministry has since overturned its own decision by halting payment of July salaries for both teaching and non-teaching staff as a result of the ongoing strike.

According to Allan Muhereza, the assistant commissioner for Human Resource Management in the Public Service ministry, they had engaged both teaching and non-teaching staff over their new salaries but disagreed.

“We are still making consultations and a final position will be communicated … all proposals that we have given the staff in the meetings have been rejected. There is no way we can release the salary when people are not contented,” Muhereza said. 

ORIGINS

In 2015, non-teaching staff aggressively demanded a pay-raise equal to that of lecturers and went on strike – until a compromise was reached at a meeting held at the state lodge in Mbale with President Museveni.

In that September 3, 2015 meeting, the president agreed to enhance salaries of both teaching and non-teaching staff to the same level. During the financial year 2016/17, government allocated Shs 50bn to the teaching staff to enhance their salaries, before adding more Shs 50bn the same year.

The president said then that money be distributed in phases so that by the financial year 2019/2020, a professor earns at least Shs 15m. Under the financial year 2017/18 both teaching and non-teaching staff are due to receive two salary enhancements.

CONTESTED SALARIES

While teaching and non-teaching staffs in the same salary scale are now at the same level, support staff in salary scales M10 to M22 are contesting the way in which the funds were enhanced.

Peter Okello, the secretary of NUEI Makerere branch, insisted that there is an unfair distribution of funds.

“We are not asking for more money from government but we want the distribution of the current release to be revised,” Okello said. “The president gave us our money as pledged and we need fair distribution.”

According to the 2017/2018 financial year salary structure, the highest-paid support staff in scale M10 like technicians, plumbers and lab technicians are entitled to Shs 2.4m per month, up from Shs 2.2m in the financial year 2016/17.

However, the lowest-paid staff including cleaners and office messengers in scale M22 are scheduled to earn Shs 527,571 per month, up from Shs 499,230.

Meanwhile, vice chancellors are scheduled to earn over Shs 10m monthly, while professors teaching science will get Shs 8.4m, associate professors Shs 7.9m, senior lecturers Shs 7.1m, lecturers Shs 6.5m, assistant lecturers Shs 4.8m and teaching assistants Shs 4.2m.

Despite Muhereza’s contention, Okello insists the Public Service ministry did not consult NUEI while computing the enhancement, arguing that he is unwilling to call off the strike until a negotiated settlement is reached.

Asked why meetings between the ministry and NUEI have ended in a stalemate, Okello said, “the beneficiaries [senior administrative staff] were part of the negotiations. They were always defending what they got”.

In determining the new salaries, Muhereza said government used the highest -paying university in each scale as a base to enhance others because all universities were paying differently.

“This meant that people, who were getting little money, got a higher margin. Universities which were paying high salaries saw almost no difference. Some people were near the base and others were in the ditch,” he explained.

GULU, BUSITEMA MUBS

The Observer has learnt that Gulu and Busitema universities, which have not been part of the strike, have restless staff, especially in the M7 salary scales, who think they should get more. At the time of reporting, the two institutions were yet to decide whether to engage in industrial action.

Elsewhere, Makerere University Business School have elected to stay on the job, unlike their colleagues at Makerere. According to Bombeka Bataringaya, the chairperson of Makerere University Business School Administrative Staff Association, salaries were already enhanced and many of their support staff do not subscribe to NUEI.

The highest-paid support staff at Mubs earns more than Shs 850,000 while the lowest-paid gets about Shs 300,000 monthly.

They are also entitled to a Shs 150,000 salary bonus, arising out of internally-generated funds. However, starting this financial year 2017/18, government will take over collections of all money generated in public universities in order to regulate their expenditure.

The salary structure for public universities for FY 2017/2018

Title

Salary scale

FY 2016/ 2017

FY 2017/ 2018

TEACHING

SCIENCE

 

MONTHLY

MONTHLY

Vice chancellor

M1

9,626,364

10,420,783

Dep. Vice Chancellor

M2

8,377,961

8,983,786

Professor

M3

8,031,761

8,487,707

Associate Professor

M4

7,537,144

7,965,011

Senior Lecturer

M5

6,781,147

7,166,097

Lecturer

M6.1

6,156,020

6,505,484

Asst. Lecturer

M6.2

4,597,402

4,858,387

Teaching Assistant

M7

4,043,083

4,272,600

 

M10

2,445,697

2,584,533

 

M11

2,311,009

2,442,200

 

M12

1,516,841

1,602,949

 

M13

1,356,689

1,433,706

 

M14

1,045,501

1,103,004

 

M15

1,000,081

1,055,086

 

M20

691,236

730,476

 

 

 

 

TEACHING NON-SCIENCE

Professor

M3

7,109,882

7,513,494

Associate Professor

M4

6,845,511

7,234,116

Senior Lecturer

M5

6,248,373

6,603,080

Lecturer

M6.1

5,730,632

6,055,947

Asst. Lecturer

M6.2

4,090,506

4,322,715

Teaching Assistant

M7

3,313,588

3,501,693

 

 

 

 

NON-TEACHING SCIENCE

Director

M3

8,031,761

8,487,708

Deputy Director

M4

7,537,144

7,965,012

Asst. Director

M5

6,781,147

7,166,099

Senior Administrator

M6.1

6,156,020

6,505,485

Administrator

M6.2

4,597,402

4,858,388

Asst.

Administrator

M7

4,043,083

4,272,601

 

M10

2,445,697

2,584,534

 

M11

2,311,009

2,442,200

 

M12

1,516,841

1,602,949

 

M13

1,356,689

1,433,706

 

M14

1,045,501

1,104,852

 

M15

1,000,081

1,056,854

 

M20

691,236

730,476

 

M21

623,662

659,066

 

 

 

 

NON-TEAHING, NON-SCIENCE

Director

M3

7,109,882

7,513,496

Deputy Director

M4

6,845,511

7,234,117

Asst. Director

M5

6,248,373

6,603,081

Senior

Administrator

M6.1

5,730,632

6,055,948

Administrator

M6.2

4,090,506

4,322,716

Asst.

Administrator

M7

3,313,588

3,501,694

 

 

 

 

SUPPORT STAFF

 

M10

2,283,684

2,413,324

 

M11

1,797,329

1,899,360

 

M12

1,518,971

1,605,200

 

M13

1,239,054

1,309,392

 

M14

933,006

985,971

 

M15

896,388

947,274

 

M16

851,071

899,384

 

M17

817,874

864,303

 

M18

784,676

829,221

 

M20

648,857

685,691

 

M21

574,061

606,650

 

M22

499,230

527,571

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