University Non-Teaching Staff stand ground on Strike as Janet Pleads

Posted: 2016-08-09T08:20:50Z
University Non-Teaching Staff stand ground on Strike as Janet Pleads

Non teaching staff at public Universities say they will end their sit down strike only if the finance minister Matia Kasaija officially writes to them promising to include their salary arrears in the budget.

The development comes after the meeting between education minister Janet Kataha Museveni and the staff hit a snag and saw the universities remain closed today.

Yesterday, Mrs. Museveni flanked by four other ministers met and dialogued with staff of public universities about their strike that is in its second week, but failed to convince them into calling it off.

The affected universities are Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Busitema, Gulu, and Makerere University business school (MUBS).

Chairman of the public university non-teaching staff executive forum (PUNTSEF) Jackson Betihamah told the meeting that if government does not reconsider its position quickly, the status quo of the industrial action remains.

“We must keep our tools down. What we want is the consensus note implemented. Failure to do so, we shall keep our tools down” warned Betihamah.

The staff are pretesting government’s failure to pay their salary arrears emanating from the president’s directive of September 2015. 

The education minister Janet Museveni asked for more time to look into the issues arguing that the non-teaching staff should have mercy on the students who were supposed to start their new semester studies over the weekend but had to be stopped.

Makerere and Kyambogo universities were forced to postpone opening days for the 1st semester from Saturday 6th Aug to 13th Aug, and 15th respectively.

After the meeting the seemingly convinced staff who had accepted to end the strike changed courses and said it must continue until government considers their needs.

However, Betihamah says that if the finance minister writes officially promising to pay their money, they will reconsider.