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Museveni to meet lecturers over salary enhancement

FILE PHOTO: President Museveni

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | President Museveni has invited lecturers of public universities for a meeting to discuss salary enhancement.

The meeting is scheduled for Saturday at Entebbe State House.

In a letter written by Irene Kauma, a senior official in the office of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports to the academic staff associations of public universities said the meeting arises out of the staff’s letter to the minister on November 20th that sought her intervention effective implementation of the Presidential directive.

“This is, therefore, to inform you of this meeting and to request you to make the necessary preparation,” says Kauma in her letter to Dr Grace Lubaale, the head of the executive Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities in Uganda (FASPU).

In a September 30 letter addressed to Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, the President directed that the salaries for scientists be moved to the “desired levels” remove the temptation of double loyalty to the public service and to the private interest of the employee. The letter was also copied to Public Service minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa and others.

But soon after the presidential directive, Secretary to the treasury and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development’s Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi, disclosed that government will not be in position to meet the salary enhancement requirement to all public servants due to several funding requirements for Financial Year 2020/2021.

He said that some of the funding requirements including the 2021 General Elections requires additional funding of 704.6 billion shillings in addition to other on-going project commitments in roads, energy, which he maintains can’t be stopped.

Muhakanizi also explained that there are still over 364 sub-counties, 352 town councils created from 2016 to 2019 and 10 cities proposed to be created but have not been operationalized due to lack of funding.

In 2015, President Museveni promised and subsequently directed the enhancement of salaries of staff in public universities with a professor earning at least 15 million shillings each month from the 2 million shillings they were earning at the time.

The enhancement was to be implemented in five years’ time according to advice by the technocrats in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

However, after five years, government had not fulfilled this promise prompting fresh negotiations on the payment plant for the remaining balance.

Currently, a professor in a public university earns 9.6 million shillings (for science) and 8.5 million shillings for non-science professors. The least paid academic staff currently, a teaching assistant in a public university earns Shs5.1M (science) and Shs. 4.24M (non-science).

Vice-chancellors and their deputies earn Shs. 11.8 million and 10.3 million shillings respectively.

The staff have in their proposal to the Ministry of Education and Sports submitted on December 12, 2019, requested the minister to approve a reviewed salary structure for their salaries which they say will increase harmony, efficiency and effectiveness in addition to producing results.

In the proposed salary structure, the staff say once salary scales have been reviewed to factor in the increment effective July 2019/2020, a Vice-Chancellor of Public University should be able to earn Shs 21.4 million while their Deputies earn 15.1 million shillings.

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