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MUK strike mishandled

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th November 2006 03:00 AM

SIR — The closure of Makerere university has cost thousands of people a lot of time and money and caused untold suffering to the students, business persons and residents in and around Makerere.

SIR — The closure of Makerere university has cost thousands of people a lot of time and money and caused untold suffering to the students, business persons and residents in and around Makerere.

The lecturers’ strike and students’ demonstration could have been averted if the government had responded cautiously and strategically.
Closing the university was not the way to handle the crisis.

Effective crisis management demands that there is always an alternative — ‘Plan B’. Closing the university was a high-handed decision. The biggest problem in this country is not having limited resources but lacking effective strategic planning, forecasting, crisis management and negotiation skills.

The lecturers’ demands were well stated, discussed and agreed upon by the lecturers and government as far back as 2004. Surely, the government should have used the last two years to plan for financial resources to pay these lecturers.

When the government promised, it committed itself and ought to keep the promise. If it failed it should have negotiated with the lecturers skillfully and convincingly to make them return to lecture rooms.

Their demands could have been addressed gradually. Lecturers work 15 hours a day and seven days a week. Saturdays and sundays are official lecture days at makerere.

This is contrary to their counterparts in public service who begin from 8am to 5pm and work five days a week. Those in public service may need only one degree but the lecturers must have a minimum of three! they deserve the little basic salary they are demanding.

Eliab Matsiko
Makerere University

MUK strike mishandled

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