Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Plot Fresh Strike

1527 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Jackson Betihamah, the Chairman Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executives forum PUNTSEF, says the next financial year will be a year of problems if they dont receive their salary arrears.

Non-teaching staff in public universities say they are ready to strike should government renege on its pledge to pay their salary arrears amounting to 13 billion Shillings.

The staff last laid down their tools in August last year after government failure to enhance their salaries. As a result, President Museveni invited the Executive of PUNTSEF on August 15 to State House Entebbe to resolve the impasse.

During the meeting, President Museveni directed the Finance Ministry to clear the arrears and allocate 28.5 billion Shillings for the enhancement of their salaries. Although the Ministry enhanced the salaries, it didn't clear the salary arrears.

But Jackson Betihamah, the Chairman Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executives' forum (PUNTSEF), says the next financial year will be "a year of problems" if they don't receive their salary arrears.

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Betihamah says their efforts to remind the Finance Ministry to budget for their salary arrears haven't yielded results. He said the ministry should not provoke non-teaching staff to "start another war."

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The debt came up in the 2016/17 financial year when the Education Ministry diverted Shillings 13bn of the Shillings 28.5 salary enhancement arrears for the financial year 2015/16 to kick start operations of Kabale, Muni, Lira and Soroti Universities.
Betihamah says the money is meant to enhance their salaries to the level of the teaching staff in public universities. 

"I appeal to the teaching staff (in public universities) to bear with us so that we can restore the single spine payroll that was recommended by the Ministry of Public Service and move together. We appeal that we should go together on same salary scales so that when salary enhancement comes up again, we will move together," Betihamah said. 

According to the 2017/18 financial year proposal, the Education Ministry is expected to get 2.33 trillion Shillings, down from an allocation of 2.45 trillion Shillings they received this financial year.


About the author

Blanshe Musinguzi
Musinguzi Blanshe is a politics-cum-business journalist. He joined Uganda Radio Network in February 2017. Previously, he worked at Daily Monitor and Red Pepper Publications Limited. He is keenly interested in data journalism.