Strike: Janet Meets University Staff Again

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In short
Representatives of the non-teaching staff of public universities are meeting Education minister Janet Museveni as a sit-down strike over salary enhancement enters the second week.

Representatives of the non-teaching staff of public universities are meeting Education minister Janet Museveni as a sit-down strike over salary enhancement enters the second week.
  
Public universities including Makerere, Kyambogo, Gulu, Mbarara, Busitema, Muni and the Makerere University Business School (MUBS) remain closed as the non-academic staff push for their salaries to be enhanced.
 
Vincent Abigaba, the Secretary of Makerere University Senior Administrative Staff Association told URN this morning that staff from other universities was on their way for the meeting. This was while Abigaba and others boarded a university bus heading for the same meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister.
 
Abigaba says at least 200 staff representatives are expected in the meeting which was scheduled to start at 10am.
  
Abigaba says the meeting is part of the move to put an end to the strike that has forced some universities to postpone reporting date for students. Makerere University last week pushed the date for reporting from August 6th to 13th.

This is the second time in a week the education minister is intervening to end the strike. On Monday, Mrs Museveni talked with Jackson Betihamah, chairperson of the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executives Forum (PUNTSEF) an umbrella that brings together non-academic staff. The discussion, however, did little to convince staff to end the strike.
  
The staff on strike claim government has refused to adhere to their calls of salary payment and arrears amounting to over 28 billion Shillings.

The strike that kicked off on August 1st has paralysed operations in most of the public universities across the country. The staff is demanding for salary enhancement dating back to 2015/2016 financial year when President Yoweri Museveni made the promise.

Last week, Kyambogo University asked department heads to type and distribute examinations papers themselves since there were no secretaries to do the job. Professor Elly Katunguka Rwakishaya, the Vice Chancellor said examinations started on the day the strike took effect.

He says this time the university sent the engineering students for internship before completing the semester because the laboratories were under renovations. He says the strike is unfortunate because it affects innocent students.

At Makerere, the strike started as fresh students were due to pick their admission letters. Dr Tanga Odoi, the university convocation chairperson had to employ temporary staff to issue out admission letters. This too was opposed by the staff saying it was illegal and unsustainable.