Lecturers at public universities have given the Ministry of Finance an ultimatum of April 26 to come up with a clear position regarding their salary enhancement. Under the Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities FASPU, the lecturers want the ministries of Finance and Education to ensure that 50 billion shillings salary enhancement for the over 3000 staff at public universities is included in the budget of 2017/2018 as agreed in 2014.
Under the Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities (FASPU), the lecturers want the ministries of Finance and Education to ensure that 50 billion shillings salary enhancement for the over 3000 staff at public universities is included in the budget of 2017/2018 as agreed in 2014.
FASPU spokesperson Dr. Deus Muhwezi Kamunyu issued a statement following the Inter-Ministerial meeting Committee composed of ministers and officials from the two ministries held on Saturday April 8 at State House Nakasero.
"After a cordial and focused discussion, the following issues became apparent; that Government will not meet the expected 50 billion shillings for salary enhancement of FASPU members in the year 2017/18. And that FASPU members are very expectant of their enhancement as earlier promised and are therefore not willing to accept such a position of government," Kamunyu says.
Lecturers maintain that budget reallocation should be conducted by the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development as soon as possible to find the money for salary enhancement.
"The meeting resolved that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development should conduct a budget reallocation to find money for enhancement of FASPU members and make a formal communication by 26/04/2017," said Kamunyu as he appealed to staff to remain calm.
On April 3, Education minister Janet Museveni wrote to council chairpersons in public universities reiterating government's commitment to enhance and improve the pay of staff in public universities. President Yoweri Museveni had in 2014 proposed to elavate the salary of a professor to 15 million per month.
The minister was responding to a March 27 letter from lecturers under FASPU who had appealed to her to follow up the matter with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
"For the last two years, government has fulfilled its obligation and will continue to do so until the process will be completed in the medium term in 2020. The budget process of the Financial Year 2017/2018 is in progress and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has presented to cabinet the government priorities, the available resource envelope and how it should be appropriated," Mrs Museveni said in the letter.
In August 2014, President Museveni met with the lecturers at State House, Entebbe and pledged to have an increment in the budgetary allocation for salaries of teaching staff in all public universities from the previous 180 billion to 300 billion shillings with effect from the 2015/2016 financial year.
The increment, which was supposed to be phased, kicked off with 50 billion shillings provided in the 2015/16 Financial Year. According to the presidential pledge, the enhancement would put a professor at 15 million shillings per month, an associate professor at 13 million, senior lecturer at 11 million, lecturer at 9 million an an assistant lecturer at seven million shillings.