Staff warned that there would be no teaching after the one week deadline
Lecturers at Makerere University have given the university administration a one week ultimatum to pay their incentive arrears or they stop teaching.
Their threat comes hardly a week after students at the institution went on strike, protesting the controversial fees payment policy, which requires them to pay 60 percent of tuition and all functional fees in the first six weeks of the semester.
In an April 13 letter to the staff, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu the Vice Chancellor Makerere University informed the lecturers that management had made a commitment to pay incentive arrears of three months in a phased approach not later than April 23.
By Friday, the institution had paid one month off the Sh12.5 billion owed to the staff over the last five months, according to the staff who affirmed that they had they had received the pay for one month.
Speaking at the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) general assembly on Friday, Dr. Mohammad Kiggundu, the Chairperson MUASA asked the lecturers to halt their strike until the university fulfills its promise.
"You all can witness that the university has already paid one month. Let us give them a benefit of doubt. We shall all lay down our tools if the two months are not paid by then," he said.
However, the staff warned that there would be no teaching and learning after the one week deadline if all the five months arrears are not paid.
Prof. Baker Nyakana a lecturer at College of Humanities and Social Sciences argued that the university may not be able to pay the arrears by that date, since it is the deadline for fees payment by the students.
"If we are waiting on students to pay fees, so we can get paid, what will happen if all the students who haven't paid decide to apply for dead years?
The incentive is supposed to motivate us. Last semester when they owed us arrears for five months, we postponed our action and did not get anything. " Nyakana said.
Last week, the university revoked the 60 percent fees payment policy, and extended the fees payment deadline to the 12th week; meaning that all students are expected to have paid all tuition and functional fees by April 23.
According to Charles Barugahare, the Makerere University Secretary, only 10,003 had fully paid by April 5. 13,271 of the 39,000 privately sponsored students had partially paid, while 15.823 had not paid a single coin.
"The university had projected to collect Sh34b from privately sponsored students this academic year, but only Sh13b has been paid," he said in an interview last week.
He added that the money collected from the students is used to top up staff salaries.
"Government pays about 60 percent of the salaries; the rest is paid by us. Therefore, when students do not pay in time, we are also unable to top up the salaries."