Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Non-teaching staff in public universities across the country have threatened not to return to work should teaching resume before their salaries are enhanced.
Recently the ministry of education and sports issued a distribution plan allocating 50 billion shillings which were availed by the ministry of finance in the 2020/2021 Financial Year’s budget as part of the salary enhancement schedule which had been agreed upon by all public universities staff and government.
However, Bruce Twesigye, the General Secretary of Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executives’ Forum (PUNTSEF) notes that to their dissatisfaction, all the money was distributed to teaching staff and scientists which to him is not only unfair but also unjust and will cause disharmony.
He adds that all along they have been moving together and nobody was complaining even if the government had increased them with a little percentage at a time.
Twesigye adds that they the non-teaching staff are not asking the government to give them huge sums of money as the teaching staff earn but they are rather calling for what is due for them in their capacities given the fact that teaching and non-teaching staff complement each other to deliver the core function of the universities.
Jackson Betihamah, the chairperson of public universities’ non teaching staff executives’ forum warns that the attempt to discriminate non-teaching staff will cause unrest in the public universities.
Betihamah notes that from several online consultations with leadership and several non-teaching staff are ready not to resume their suspended industrial action should government ignore their request for an equitable say enhancement.
He says that they demand that a total of 91.3 billion shillings should be provided for in the 2021/2021 financial year budget to cater for the remaining enhancement of non-teaching staff as it was agreed upon.
In 2015, non-teaching staff enacted an industrial action that paralyzed the activities in public universities following the government’s decision to enhance the salaries of only teaching staff. However, the government realized a need to maintain harmony and thus resolved the matter by enhancing salaries across the board.
Meanwhile, even the academic staff who the 50 billion shillings was allocated to have since shown dissatisfaction noting that the distribution plan is putting up glaring inequities, unfairness and attempts to divide them basing on their ranks as a bigger portion of the money was allocated to Vice-Chancellors, Professors and Associate Professors.