GULU–Academic staff of Gulu University on Monday resolved to lay down their tools over unpaid arrears.
The employees under the umbrella association, Gulu University Academic staff Association (GUASA) claim the university owes them a total of Shs2.6 billion arrears that have accumulated for about one year.
GUASA chairperson Prof Dr. David Lagoro said over 260 staff on Monday 4, unanimously agreed to lay down their tools following the failure of the university to clear their arrears.
He said the university received money from the Ministry of Finance for staff enhancement but has failed to use the money to clear staff arrears.
Lagoro was speaking during a press briefing at his office at Gulu University.
“There is no student who sits exams without full clearance and besides, government sent Shs1.7 billion for enhancing both academic and non-academic staff but only non-academic staff were catered for,” Prof Dr. Lagoro said.
Prof Lagoro added that they decided to lay down tools ahead of exams to compel the administration to clear their arrears because the university has the money but prefers to work under crisis.
Stella Laloyo Apew, the vice chairperson GUASA, said laying down tools ahead of exams was the only options the association remained with after several attempts failed.
She accused the acting Vice Chancellor Prof Nyeko Pen Mogi of micro-managing the university and appealed for an expeditious audit to clear what she called a mess.
Prof Pen Mogi on December 4 suspended semester one examination indefinitely in a letter announced on Mega Fm radio and old students to go home.
Addressing journalists at Kakanyero Hotel in Gulu town, Prof Prof Pen Mogi said he was advised by the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Kenneth Mugamba not to risk paying staff using money collected from students without first remitting to the ministry, urging that it would be unlawful hence the delay.
He said the university owes Shs600 million gratuities to academic staff contrary to what GUASA claims.
He said the university is not closed as other offices will remain functional and students will return on January 15 to do the suspended exams and the second semester will commence in early February