August 29, 2013

MUK Lecturers Call Off Strike

Makerere University lecturers on Thursday afternoon called off their  one month long strike and is set to reopen on September 7th 2013.

The lecturers who lay down their tools demanding an immediate 100% salary increment met Thursday in the Makerere University main hall and called off the strike.

Makerere University lecturers on Thursday afternoon called off their  one month long strike.
Makerere University lecturers on Thursday afternoon called off their one month long strike.

The development comes after the University Council agreed to give a 70% salary incentive to the staff of Makerere effective this October.

The incentive was drawn from a re-alignment of the university budget to raise 44 billion shillings to fund the incentive. Makerere staff has been in negotiations with the Council for two weeks and before a decision was reached on Wednesday when the staff agreed to take a 70% incentive in order to call off the strike.

Major faculty allowances like travel, workshops and seminars have been cut off and their funds drawn into the wage budget of the university.

According to a letter from Council sent to the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) executive on 27th August, the payment of the incentive will start with the month of October and all staff arrears will be cleared in the first six weeks of the re-opening of the university.

The staff members are also to pledge 40 working hours every week with 10 of those hours confined to student teaching.

The deal means that a professor in a faculty that has been earning 3.4 million shillings will get an incentive of 2.4 million shillings every month raising his gross salary to 5.8 million. The lowest earner a laboratory assistant who has been at 452,000 shillings as gross salary will get an incentive of 268,000 shillings raising his wage to 720,000 shillings.

The MUASA members were quick to adopt the incentive but vowed to continue pursuing a 100% salary increment from government.

MUASA President Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu says the incentive is just one of the many demands and that it is a starting point for the various changes that will occur to the university.

The university has been closed for two weeks now owing to the lecturers strike. The University Council which closed the university is also starting an afternoon meeting from where they will sign a legally binding agreement for the delivery of the salary incentive.

The 70% salary incentive comes as a breather for the staff who have been on the same salary scale for 8 years running. The university will however cope with the payment of the incentive.

Other changes introduced by the negotiations are that the lecturers will start receiving payslips as part of the accountability for the salaries they receive.

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