Public Universities Support Staff Strike Deal With Government

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In short
In the 2017/2018 financial year, government provided Shs.19.625bn for enhancement for both teaching and non-teaching staff of public universities. The funds represented 25 percent of the expected total salary enhancement amounting to Shillings 78.5bn.

Support staff from all Public Universities in the country are expected to call off their strike after reaching a compromise with government to pay this year's salary enhancement as arrears in the 2018/2019 Financial Year.


Government has accepted to pay the money to the affected staff in the M10 and M22 salary scales including their salaries to the tune of Shillings 4.3 billion.
 
Charles Kakuru, the Chairperson Support staff at Mbarara University of Science and Technology - MUST, says they have called a general Assembly on Tuesday where they expect to call off the strike.
 

//Cue in: "We have intentions…

Cue out: …suspend the strike."//


Michael Eladu, the Chairperson of the National Union of Education Institutions-NUEI Kyambogo Chapter, says they will pronounce themselves after the General Assembly on Tuesday. 

Eladu appeals to all staff associations, public university management and government to respect and treat all staff groups equally arguing that they complement each other. 

//Cue in: "These three categories…
Cue out: …be treated fairly."//


In her July 28, 2017 letter, Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the Public Service Ministry Permanent Secretary to all public universities accounting officers, says that the non-teaching staff in this category will take first call prior to any further enhancement for non-teaching staff across all salary scales.
 
"Owing to the prior agreement that the next enhancement for non-teaching staff will give priority to those in M10-M22, it has been resolved that the salary structure for FY2017/18 issued under circular standing no.5 of 2017 dated 1st July 2017 should be implemented without amendment due to non-availability of additional funds in the approved budget for FY2017/18 to fill gaps," Bitarakwate said.


In the 2017/2018 financial year, government provided Shs.19.625bn for enhancement for both teaching and non-teaching staff of public universities. The funds represented 25 percent of the expected total salary enhancement amounting to Shillings 78.5bn. 

 
According to the Bitarakwate, the funds were distributed as enhanced across all salary scales bringing the non-teaching staff in salary M3 to M7 to the same level with staff in the the teaching category.


Subsequently, the standing instructions in the July 1st circular no.5 of 2017 salary structure brought non-teaching staff in the M3-M7 salary scale to the same scale with those in the teaching category resulting in the minimal increase in the percentage salary enhancement for the non-teaching M10-M22 who do not have teaching staff equivalent scales. 



This aroused discontent from non-teaching staff in the M10-M22 salary prompting them to complain of unfair distribution of the salary enhancement. They held a series of meetings with officials from Ministries of Public Service, Education and Sports and Finance Planning and Economic Development to solve the impasse.


During the meetings, the non-teaching staff in M10-M22 demanded for a pay rise of 49% and 56% for the non-teaching staff (science) and non-science respectively. According to Bitarakwate, "all sides including the officials representing the ministries, the non-teaching staff in salary scales M3-M7, appreciated the concern of the non-teaching staff in M10-M22. It was therefore agreed that the next enhancement, the later will be given first priority during distributing the wage provision for enhancement of salary for non-teaching staff in public universities."


URN understands that the distribution of the salary arrears for FY 2015/16, which together with salary for FY 2016/2017, formed the base for enhancement in FY 2017/2018 which after review, the gap between the current salary levels in the issued salary structure  of FY 2017/2018 and the expected levels for non-teaching staff in M10-M22 was Shs.4.3bn.

 

About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

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