PARLIAMENT – Cabinet has approved the payment of Shs58.5 billion in arrears for the salary enhancement for lecturers and non-teaching staff in the five public universities.
The money, which accrues from the financial year 2017/2018, is part of the Shs234 billion that was supposed to the lecturers in instalments of three years of Shs78billion per financial year. However, only Shs19m was released in the last financial year, which forced the lecturers to go on strike.
However, Mr Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of Uganda Media Centre, on Tuesday revealed that Cabinet during its Monday weekly meeting ordered Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to release the money.
“Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to clear the outstanding commitment made in FY (Financial Year) 2017/18 amounting to Shs58.5billion for salary enhancement for public Universities and non-teaching staff,” read the statement in part.
Mr Mike Eladu, a representative of the National Union for Educational Institutions (UNEI), welcomed the directive.
“We had a meeting with Education ministry officials and we had told them we will strike if they don’t pay us. The minister for Education (Ms Janet Museveni) asked to be give two weeks to return to us with an answer and I think we are happy for now since they had only two days to go,” Mr Eladu said.
In 2005, the President agreed to enhance the salaries of university lecturers after endless strikes for under payment. In the enhancements, a professor, for instance was to earn at least Shs15m from the Shs8.5m.