MUBS Management tells striking lecturers to resume work with immediate effect
The Makerere University Business School (MUBS) management has told the striking teaching staff to immediately resume work and help the final year students who were scheduled to have started their examinations on Monday.
The lecturers laid down their tools last week as a protest against delays by Government to enhance the salaries of some staff who have never benefited from the money Government released to enhance the salaries of the teaching staff of universities.
According to a communication issued by the MUBS principal, Prof. Waswa Balunywa, the MUBS council had resolved that exams go on as earlier planned and striking teaching staff is requested to resume work.
Sources at the university informed us that the students had successfully started their exams amidst the uncertainty created by the strike, which is yet to be called off.
In the communication that Prof. Balunywa sent out to the staff arising from what the council had decided in a meeting held on Wednesday last week, the staff was cautioned against continuing with the strike.
“Those staff who do not wish to invigilate and mark exams may wish to transfer their services out of MUBS, rather than lead to the closure of the school,” Balunywa said in the letter to the staff, which has been copied to all the relevant government ministers and permanent secretaries.
He added that if students do not sit the exams, chances are that they, themselves, would go on strike and this would lead to the closure of the institution.
Balunywa said whereas the lecturers’ cause is justified and as management, they have undertaken several initiatives to have it addressed, the government was yet to resolve it.
The major point of contention that caused the strike arises from the fact that there are many lecturers who did not benefit from the Government enhancement of salaries for lecturers in public universities.
The problem at hand is that the Government decided to enhance the salaries of staff in public universities in 2015 for only those who were in post. Staff recruited or promoted after that period have never been enhanced. They are in MUBS on a salary scale of person to the holder – Balunywa said.
The MUBS principal further said in 2016 and 2017, the MUBS management, out of its initiative, enhanced the salaries of lecturers in the category of ‘person to holder’ from sh1.5m to sh3.1m per month by removing top-up allowances from the existing staff to the new staff.
According to the revised salary structure from the Ministry of Public Service following the government decision to increase salaries for the teaching staff of public universities, a vice-chancellor in a public university is entitled to a salary of sh20m, deputy vice-chancellor sh17.4m, professor sh15.6m, an associate professor sh14.8m, a senior lecturer sh9m, lecturer sh8.1m, assistant lecturer sh6.6m and teaching assistant sh5.7m.
Responding to the call for the striking lecturers to call off the strike and resume work, Brian Muyomba, the chairperson of MUBS academic staff association, told us that they would soon convene a general meeting to decide on the matter.
As far as we are concerned, the strike is still on. The resolution of the staff association cannot be undone by the directive of the council. The association is independent of the council – Muyomba said.
The minister for higher education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, appealed to the MUBS staff to call off the strike, because Government is already working on their concerns which he said are genuine.
Responsibilities have already been given to our ministry (education), the finance ministry, and the public service ministry to solve the problem and it will certainly be solved. We appeal to them to resume work and be sympathetic to students who are supposed to be sitting their exams – Muyingo said.