Kyambogo university lecturers have given management up to Thursday this week to clear their allowance arrears amounting to Shs 3 billion.
Rev. Dr Grace Lubaale, the Kyambogo University Academic Staff Association (KYUASA) chairperson, says they have resolved not to set or invigilate examinations until they receive their allowances.
There are 500 full time academic staff and close to 800 part-time staff at Kyambogo university. According to Dr Lubaale, the part-time staffs are claiming for their allowances for August, September, October and November.
"We have not been paid up today…up to now the university has not given any single explanation to the teaching staff. These teaching staff are the ones with the exams. So how do they give in the exam when they have not been paid. We’re not part of the exams process - meaning that no submission of exams, no invigilation. We’re not part of the examination process beginning on Friday. What is the reason? We have not been paid what we deserve. Maybe the vice chancellor will set his exams and get an invigilator", said Lubaale.
Full-time staff also are claiming extra load allowances for August, September, October and November. A full-time lecturer is supposed to teach 10 hours weekly. However, because of the large number of students, the university started compensating lecturers for extra load where they receive between Shs 40,000 and 50,000 per hour.
The lecturers also say the university has not paid their arrears for research supervision and marking as well as top up salary for October 2017. In September, Kyambogo recruited 100 graduate fellows to assist in teaching and help bridge the gap resulting from the low staffing levels.
However, Lubaale says these have not been paid for the months of September and October.
"Kyambogo University had taken 10 years without recruiting graduate training fellows which is unfortunate. So this year in July-August they recruited graduate fellows about 60 and even some assistants and lecturers - about 40. Majority began to work in September [but] September, they have not been paid, October, they have not been paid. We’re now in November", he said.
Despite the threats of striking by their lecturers, several students were seen queuing at the banks in the university to clear tuition ahead of the end of the 2017/2018 academic year examinations. Examinations are expected to begin on Friday November 17.
Other students were seen queuing at the various faculty registrar offices to obtain the reference numbers for payment of tuition. Innocent Ocaya, the Kyambogo guild prime minister, said since majority of students are paying the university would be in position to pay the lecturers so that they can conduct examinations.
"As the university we are really challenged. But I would urge students to remain hopeful and I believe we are going to convince members of the top management to find money to pay the lecturers," Ocaya said.
Vice Chancellor Prof Eli Rwakishaya Katunguka says majority of the students haven't paid tuition, which has affected service delivery and delayed payment of lecturer's claims.
"As we prepare for end of semester exams, we require that private sponsored students have paid their tuition fees and have cleared all their fees obligations with the university - one week to the beginning of the examinations. Many of the students have not paid the full tuition fees and registered.
Our system indicates that about 3,500 students have paid tuition fees and registered out of a total of about 22,000-23,000 students. And this is very disappointing because it appears that many students have not paid fees. I would like to request students to pay their financial obligations as we prepare for the examinations", he said.
He adds that they have been verifying all the teaching claims by lecturers as they wait for government to advance money for the second quarter to clear them.
"We paid them all the teaching allowances for the previous semester and this semester, those who have taught and claimed have been paid, or the process is going on to pay them. Now that also we have got Quarter II release, there is a big budget to pay all people who have taught this semester. So, once they put in their claims they will be paid.
So we don’t have that problem. However the remaining bit was the verification of claims for the marking and setting of exams. The internal auditor wanted to verify those claims and those claims which have been verified have been paid and those that have not been verified the process is on to verify them, money is there to pay them" Katunguka said.
At the close of the first semester in May this year, the same lecturers laid down their tools following delays by the university to clear their allowances for January to May as well as the salary top-up.
On average, each lecturer receives Shs 450,000 every month as extra load allowance, research supervision, examination setting and marking.