KAMPALA – Makerere University could be in for yet another free drama session just a few days to the start of the 2019/2020 academic year. In the new move, the staff association Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) is not willing to let members get back to work unless a consensus is reached with the administration.
The new semester is scheduled to start on Saturday, August 10, 2019 however, the date being a weekend, students are expected to commence with lectures on Monday, August, 12,2019.
While speaking to PML Daily earlier this week, Interim MUASA boss Prof. Edward Mwavu said that their industrial action was still on because they had not yet engaged with the university leadership to find a way forward to their concerns.
“We are yet to have an engagement with the university management. It is our wish and also our desire that meet as one family and talk” said Prof. Mwavu.
This website understands that In August, 2019 the government of Uganda released UGX15 billion to enhance salaries of staff in all public universities in order to fulfill the presidential pledge of racing a professor to UGX15 million.
However, Joint staff Associations in Makerere University (MUASA, MASA, NUEI) were not convinced with fifteen billion shillings that were secured to enhance salaries of staff in public institutions saying this was so below their expectations.
Following their dissatisfaction, these labour unions decided to lay their tools down waiting for an engagement with the university management which is yet to come until now.
Prof. Mwavu who also serves as the associated Vice Chairperson explained that it is not in their interest not to teach students but the morale among the staff must be taken as equally important.
“In this circumstance when you look at our democratic countries like Uganda, it calls for sitting together and talk and reach an agreement,” Mwavu said adding that universities are the fountain of knowledge and so they should show a good example by discussing issues at hand.
Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe called upon staff to report to duty as the administration negotiates with government to work on their complaints.
If a consensus is not met between the university management and staff, the impasse that was happened at the beginning of last semester where students didn’t study for almost a month is likely to resurface.
However, this is more likely to affect the new entrants who are not used to the institution and therefore need extra guidance as they start their career journeys.