Makerere University Business School (MUBS) academic staff have announced the start of a strike following the unsuccessful attempts by public universities to secure salary enhancement arrears from the government.
Albert Miwanda, the chairperson of the MUBS Academic Staff Association (MUBASA) announced the position to the school principal Prof Wasswa Balunywa, in a letter authored and submitted on January 7.
The strike is part of the collective action by the Forum for Academic Staff of the Public Universities in Uganda to demand outstanding salary enhancements balance of Shs 29.5 billion carried forward from FY 2017/2018.
The staff members contend that in April 2017, state minister for Finance David Bahati committed to a payment of Shs 58 billion in the 2017/2018 Financial year in partial fulfillment of the presidential promise of Shs 15 million per month salary for each professor by FY 2019/2020.
But during the budgetary process for the FY 2018/19, the government budgeted for only Shs 29.5 billion which has not yet been paid. Last year, staff from nine public universities during a joint strategic meeting among members of the held at Makerere University, declared an indefinite, comprehensive nationwide strike effective 2019 if the payments remained pending.
Miwanda says that the MUBS lecturers have decided to join the strike after unyielding results from correspondences between the ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the ministry of Education to have the balance paid out.
"Based on that, the Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities in Uganda (FASPU) and Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executive Forum (PUNTSEF) resolved that unless the money is paid, all staff in public universities will not give their labour effective January 19, 2019," Miwanda said.
He added that being a signatory to FASPU-PUNTSEF and having resolved to lay down tools if the government doesn't honour its commitment, MUBS staff are bound by the resolution to withdraw their services from the university.
By implication, staff from Makerere, Gulu, Lira, Muni, Kabale, Kyambogo, Soroti, Busitema and Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) are expected to lay down tools in case government doesn't yield to their demands.
Meanwhile, Catherine Bitarakwate, the ministry of Public Service permanent secretary said that they are waiting for the ministry of Finance to release funds in order for them to issue a a new salary structure.