National News

Gov’t Universities paralysed as staff strike over 4.3bn

Public Universities have vowed to continue with the strike despite government releasing 29bn for their salary enhancement arrears and insisted even the Shs 4.3bn arrears for the support staff must be paid before they call off their industrial action.

In a release announced on Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance indicated that it had released 29.5 bn which included arrears of the salary enhancement for academic staff and Shs 4.3 arrears for the support staff of all government universities.

However, the members of Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executive Forum (PUNTSEF) and Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities in Uganda (FASPU) are not satisfied

“Reference is made to your letter dated December 21, 2018 to the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury. In this letter, you allocated a total of 29.5b, including Shs4.3b for scale M10-M22, which was negotiated separately from the original Shs29.5b of all staff in public universities,” the sstriking staff wrote to the permanent secretary Ministry of Public Service on January 9, 2019.

“Therefore, the correct total allocation should be Shs 33.8b. The purpose of this letter is to ask your office to make correct allocation which will reflect Shs29.5 and the 4.3b giving a total of 33.8 b,” the letter adds.

Mr. Jackson Betihamah, the chairperson of FUNTSEF, said they would remain resolute in demanding their entitlements. “What has happened with the Ministry of \Public Service to release the 29b is acceptable, but the fact is that they know that we also need 4.3b which is additional to what to what they have released. These two negotiations were different because we negotiated for 29b separately and the 4.3bn was the arrears, so putting the arrears in the 29b is totally unacceptable,” Mr. Betihamah said.

He said the ministry of finance should ensure what they agreed on is implemented.

“We believe they will organize themselves and give us 4.3b before the workers can resume work. On this note, I am calling on all the workers in the public universities and Uganda Management Institute to remain at home until this money is given to us,” he added.

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