The Ministry of Education has directed all directors and heads of education institutions to pay teachers and staff their full salaries during the lockdown period.
The directive comes at a time when a number of teachers and workers in several privately owned institutions have been served with letters informing them about pay cuts and some terminations due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter signed by Alex Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Sports however, all institutions have been ordered to pay their employees in accordance with the Employment Act and as per agreed in the employment contracts.
“As you are aware, Government is paying teachers and other public services workers their full salaries during the lockdown period. Ministry of Education and Sports Guidelines for Staff Employment in Private Schools and Institutions, Guideline No. 5(9), provides that school management shall pay the fulltime staff during both school term and school holidays,” the ministry writes.
“This is, therefore, to remind you that you are required to pay your employees during the lockdown period in accordance with the Employment Act and as per agreed employment contracts,” the letter reads.
Schools and education institutions have been closed for a period of about two months having been closed in a Presidential directive as one of the measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus on March 20,2020 and the Ministry said that payments for this period should have been budgeted for.
“This period is less than the time that was left on the first term of 2020,including holidays, when schools were forced to close. Therefore, the budget for salaries for the first term should be adequate to pay the staff for at least three months,” the ministry added.
Mukono based Uganda Christian University (UCU) and the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) are some of the institutions that had served their staff with letters suspending contracts.
In a May 22 note to all staff, UCU Vice Chancellor, Rev. Canon Dr. John Ssenyonyi said they had been greatly affected by the measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus like the closure of education institutions.
The Reverend noted that the university was only able to pay 75% of what is due to each of the fulltime employees for the month of May and that they won’t be able to pay June salaries.