Nawangwe Argues with Makerere Staff over Forthcoming Strike

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Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, has asked the University’s staff to reconsider their impending strike and allow the government the opportunity to address the ongoing issue of salary harmonization.

On Thursday, staff members of Makerere University declared their intention to embark on a new industrial action commencing on January 15, 2024, citing the University’s failure to align their salaries with those of staff in other public universities.

These staff argued that their longstanding complaints had yielded no satisfactory resolutions from the government. Consequently, they opted to initiate their long-anticipated industrial action, scheduled to commence just two days after the commencement of the new semester.

Although Nawangwe had earlier on Wednesday asked Parliament’s Committee on Education and Sports to support the University in obtaining urgently needed funds for salary harmonization and pro-rata salary enhancement, Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) Chairman, Dr. Robert Kakuru said they were never convinced.

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Kakuru argued that although Nawangwe had brought the issue before parliament, they could not get any assurance because the same issue was brought before parliament last year but funding was never allocated.

Now, speaking to this publication, Nawangwe explained that he is aware that some of the staff at Makerere University are earning less than their counterparts in other public universities.

He further explained that this was brought to the attention of the President, who directed the Ministry of Public Service to harmonize salaries, resulting in a proposed figure of sh12bn.

Nawangwe said the harmonization exercise was completed last year, but only came after the approval of the 2023/2024 budget and when they put the matter back to public service, the Ministry assured that the allocated funds would be incorporated in the 2024/2025 financial year budget.

Nawangwe appealed to the staff to call off their planned strike and give a chance to the University management and the university Council to continue engaging the parliament and other government agencies to find a lasting solution for the matter before the budget is read.

Story by URN

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