As Makerere prepares for the 69th graduation ceremony slated to kick off on Tuesday January 15 to 18th, the academic staffs at Makerere University Business School-MUBS, have announced a strike after unsuccessful attempts by Public Universities to secure salary enhancement arrears from the government.
The position was announced by Albert Miwanda, the chairperson of the MUBS Academic Staff Association - MUBASA to the School Principal, Prof. Wasswa Balunywa, in a letter authored and submitted on Monday January 7.
The strike according to Miwanda 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 29.5 billion Shillings carried forward from the Financial Year 2017/2018.
In April 2017, State Minister for Finance David Bahati committed to a payment of 58 billion Shillings in the 2017/2018 Financial year in partial fulfillment of the presidential promise of 15 million Shillings salaries for each professor by 2019/2020. However, the amount was not included in the budgetary process for the financial year 2018/2019, but the government budgeted for only 29.5 billion Shillings which has not been paid.
Staff from nine public universities during a joint strategic meeting among members of the held at Makerere University last year, declared an indefinite, comprehensive nationwide strike effective 2019, if the payments remained pending.
Now, Miwanda says 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.
They are joining staff from Makerere, Gulu, Lira, Muni, Kabale, Kyambogo, Soroti, Busitema and MUST who are expected to laydown tools in case government doesn't yield to their demands.
Catherine Bitarakwate, the Ministry of Public Service Permanent Secretary says they are still waiting for the Ministry of Finance to release funds in order for them to issue a salary structure.