Makerere University Business School – MUBS lecturers have laid down their tools citing failure by government to enhance their salaries.
Dr Isaac Magoola, the MUBS Academic Staff Association chairperson says starting from today lecturers from the Main Campus at Nakawa, Mbarara, Arua and Jinja will not mark, input results, attend academic meetings, or research and supervise interns.
Dr Magoola says that staffs want several demands addressed by both the institution and government, without which they are unwilling to return to work.
He notes that one category of academic staff including over 150 people were promoted but have never received money commensurate to their new positions. Dr Magoola says the staff still receive 2.5 million Shillings instead of a package of 6 million Shillings which would require MUBS at least 8.7billion Shillings to address the gap.
Another category of about 40 staff who were promoted from senior lecturer to Associate Professors and Lecturer to Senior Lecturers have also not been paid. They are demanding a tune of 1.9billion Shillings for the harmonization. This means that the school requires a total of about 10.6billion Shillings.
The third category comprises of all staff at MUBS totalling to 1001 people including academic, administrative and support staff who have not reached the level like that of other staffs in other public universities following the 2015 government enhancements.
According to Dr Magoola, MUBS required 35.1billion Shillings to enhance all salaries of its staff as per government promise in 2015. But because the government did not have the money at once, it provided 22.4billion Shillings which was distributed for the whole year.
In addition, Dr Magoola told URN that a total of 501 academic staff are demanding marking and supervision allowances.
In MUBS, once a lecturer marks more than 200 scripts of students, it attracts an allowance. But lecturers say that while every student pays 100,000 Shillings examinations fee per semester, they are not paid money for the extra load incurred from marking the excess numbers.
“Every student pays 100, 000 Shillings examination fees before they sit for their exams but you find you can mark for three years without ever being paid a coin and you are saying you don’t have money,” Dr Magoola said.
The lecturers are demanding a clear roadmap on how these issues raised will be resolved.
MUBS Principal, Prof. Wasswa Balunywa, however, blamed the nonpayment of teaching assistants on the fact that majority of them had not enrolled for Masters Programmes at the time of salary enhancements.
Prof. Balunywa also highlights that the institution does not receive money from the government to cater for its entire staff and as a result, it has resorted to the recruitment of contract staff, a move he says is not proper for staff development.
MUBS currently spends 4.6billion Shillings on part-time staff in addition to 1billion Shillings from the internally generated funds to government as a top up for government salaries.
According to Prof. Balunywa, academic staffs were expected to further engage and consult with the institution’s management in order to avoid the strike.