Lecturers in public universities throughout the country have announced a strike over their pay.
Under their umbrella body, Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities in Uganda(FASPU) the lecturers say they are not happy with the way government has distributed Shs50 billion for salary enhancement in the 2020/2021 budget by the Ministry of Public Service.
“…. the distribution of the shs50 billion lacked the pro rata principle as reiterated by His Excellency the President during the December 14, 2019 meeting at State House with leaders of Academic Staff Associations also attended by officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Education and Sport,” the lecturers’ joint letter to the Ministry of Public Service Permanent Secretary reads in part.
The 2020/2021 new salary structure by the Ministry of Public Service indicates that the teaching staff will earn shs5.7 million from shs4 million whereas a senior lecturer will earn shs8.1 million from shs6.1 million.
On the other side, an Associate Professor will earn shs14.8 million from shs7.5 million whereas a Professor will earn shs15.6 million from shs8 million.
The lecturers say that whereas they are happy with President Museveni for champions their salary enhancement and the Education Minister, Janet Museveni for efforts towards enhancing their welfare, they are not content with the new salary structure which has seen professors and associate professors paid higher than others.
“FASPU has so far written four letters objecting the unfair distribution of the shs50 billion that negates the pro rata principle that the Ministry of Service is going ahead to undermine. In light of the above, the meeting unanimously resolved that effective June, 4, 2020 all academic staff in public universities shall withdraw labour until the shs50 billion for the financial year 2020/2021 is distributed pro rata based on salary structure for academic staff developed by the Ministry of Public Service,” the lecturers say.
They have since advised students and other stakeholders to remain calm until the matter is resolved.
President Museveni in December last year met with lecturers from public universities and directed that their salary is enhanced.
The public lecturers’ strike comes at a time when education institutions reopen early next month after being closed for over two months to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.