Progress is being made to resolve the current sit down strike by academic staff in public universities
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Vice chancellors of public universities are set to join efforts with the Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities in Uganda (FASPU) to negotiate an end to the ongoing industrial action by lecturers in public universities. This was resolved in a meeting held on Friday at Kyambogo University according to a letter addressed to academic staff at public universities issued by FASPU.
The meeting comprised FASPU executive members from different public universities together with their vice-chancellors and the host Professor Eli Katunguka, the Vice chancellor Kyambogo University. The meeting resolved to establish a committee comprising five vice-chancellors and FASPU representatives to negotiate with the government.
Dr. Simon Kawuma, the chairperson of Mbarara University of Science and Technology Academic Staff Association- MUSTASA, says they expect to start the negotiations with Education Minister next week. However, the lecturers resolved to maintain their industrial action. They have urged students and staff to remain patient until their pleas are met.
Brian Muyomba, the chairperson Makarere University Business School Academic Staff Association says he is tired of the endless negotiations and all they want to see is money.
Professor George Openjuru, the vice-chancellor Gulu University says vice chancellors have appealed to the FASPU executive members to end the strike, saying a decision is yet to be made.
Public universities are experiencing a crisis with the ongoing strike as students continue to suffer due to the absence of lecturers. Whereas some lecturers have heeded to vice-chancellors pleas to resume lectures, others have held onto the industrial action.
Under the leadership of Dr. Deus Kamunyu, the chairperson of FASPU, the academic staff demands that the government releases Shillings 129.24 billion to effect the enhancement of salaries of lecturers in all public universities. President Museveni promised increased salaries of academic staff in public universities in 2015. A professor would earn Shs 15m and a senior lecturer earns Shs 12.2m.
The government decided to implement the directive in phases for five years. In 2020/2021 financial year, the government released Shs 50Bn which benefited only professors and associate professors who got their 100 percent salary increment.