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Sunday,November 29,2020 10:00 AM

Govt to review MUBS staff, salary structure

By John Masaba

Added 21st November 2020 06:51 PM

Govt to review MUBS staff, salary structure

Mukasa addressing journalists at the Media Centre

The Government is in the process of reviewing the recruitment and salary structures of Makerere University Business School (MUBS), in a bid to address staff unrest.

Wilson Muruli Mukasa, the public service minister, said the Government has resolved to harmonise the salaries of MUBS staff with those of other government-aided universities.

He says the university has been requested to submit to the finance and public service ministries a list of all its staff and their pay.

He revealed that a supplementary of sh4.9b has already been requested and that it is expected to cater for 843 staff who have been affected by the payment inequalities at the university.

"The finance ministry is in the process of bringing a supplementary budget to Parliament," Mukasa said.

Mukasa made the remarks while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre, on Wednesday, on the progress made to address the challenges that have bedevilled MUBS over the last few years.

The academic staff has been threatening to strike since the Government reopened education institutions for finalists on October 15. Last week, they announced that they had laid down their tools, saying they are earning much less compared to their counterparts in other public universities. 

The move has threatened over 8,000 final-year students at the Nakawa-based university, who were set to commence exams.

"We call on the academic staff of MUBS to call off the strike and resume work as we work together to resolve this matter. Besides, as the Government, we feel the timing is not right.

Finalists are set to sit for exams and COVID-19 is still around," Mukasa said.

"There has not been any shift in the plans of the Government. We are still looking for resources and are open to dialogue."

Comprehensively addressed

Mukasa said the issues were comprehensively discussed with the education, public service and finance ministries last month. He added that, the MUBS structure will soon be at par with that of other public universities.

He said all staff members must have appointment letters from public service. Since 2015, Mukasa said, the Government has implemented a progressive salary enhancement, which has greatly improved pay in the education sector.

"As we speak, vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors have reached the top of the payment target as was committed by the Government in 2015," he said.

He added that others, like lecturers, are at 65% in the target, which is higher than that for other government staff, like soldiers who are at 18%.

Genesis

Mukasa said the current problems at the university resulted from a disproportionate increase in the number of students at the institution over the years, which has outpaced the necessary number of academic staff.

In a bid to solve the challenge, the appointing authority, the Council of University of MUBS, embarked on a hybrid recruitment programme — one run through the public service ministry and another locally managed — where eligible staff would be employed on contract.

The contract staff were paid from locally-generated revenue, while the other category were paid by the Government, through the public service. He said, although the recruitments were well-intentioned, it has inadvertently resulted in disparities in emoluments.

"Although many staff were promoted, they were not issued with salaries commensurate with their job descriptions due to funds," he said.

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