KAMPALA – Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Principal Prof Wasswa Balunywa has described the action that was taken by the University’s teaching staff association MUBAS as uncalled for at a time the country is battling the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement he issued, Prof Balunywa says that management has noted with regret the press conference and release by the executive of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUBASA) in which they indicate that they have been suffering for ten years.
“For the purpose of record, the information that was provided was false. In 2015, the Government decided to enhance the salaries of employees in all public Universities. Due to various constraints, this process has never been completed. At that time, there were students who were in MUBS on staff development fellowships as Graduate Assistants and were not enhanced because they were not staff then,” he says.
Balunywa adds that when they completed their studies, they (Management) requested that the Government enhances them but unfortunately due to budget constraints, this has not been finalized yet.
“MUBS management and Council has been in touch with the Government mainly the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Finance and attempts are being made to resolve this matter. The action by the Staff Academic Association is regrettable and very unfortunate because the Government has taken all the necessary initiatives to address this matter,” he explains.
He added that “It is also unfortunate that as Government attempts to solve the problem that arose from the Coroavirus pandemic involving students in Universities, a small number of staff think it fit t not to teach.”
Promising to refer the matter to the School Council who will take the necessary action, Prof Balunywa assured the finalists returning on October 15th that this supposed strike will not in any way affect their learning.
“I would like to assure the final year students who are reporting October 15th, 2020 tat this matter will be resolved in a very amicable manner. We will start off by training students in usage of the Online learning system and instructing them on the required SOPs. We are confident that final year students will be able to complete their studies as directed by the Government,” he said.
Prof Balunywa’s remarks come after Brian Muyomba, the chairperson Makerere University Business School Academic Staff Association (MUBASA) yesterday (Sunday 4th October) declared a sit-down strike calling upon students not to report to the institution expected to reopen on October 15 over their salaries.
Muyomba explained that for the last ten years, MUBS staff have been negotiating for fair pay in vain.
“We have been engaging management. They keep telling us that they are trying to lobby but for ten years there has to come a time of making hard decisions.”
According to Muyomba, MUBS senior staff and management held a meeting on December 28, 2019 with President Museveni over the issue of salary harmonization.
He said that President Museveni promised that by July 2020, the matter would be resolved. First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni was present at the meeting.