The Makerere University Council has instructed the striking staff to immediately return to work while their grievances are being handled.
“We would like to appeal to all members of staff of the university to take cognizance of the established rules and procedures on how to address grievances at the university. These procedures are open and available for everyone to use,” said Lorna Magara, the new council chairperson.
Magara made the above pronouncement in a meeting held at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Friday.
This was after it received a report from management on the current situation at the university.
The conflict between the university administration and its academic and administrative staff follows the suspension of various lecturers including two top leaders of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) and Makerere Administrative Staff Association (MASA).
The administration argues that they were suspended for misconduct, indiscipline and involvement in acts that breach the terms and conditions of their employment.
The strike that has been on for close to three weeks has paralysed business at some of the university colleges and departments.
The striking staff under their associations MUASA, MASA and NUEI have demanded for the removal of Thomas Tayebwa and Bruce Kabasa from the university council; reinstating their suspended leaders Bennet Magara, Joseph Kalema (MASA) and Dr Deus Kamunyu (MUASA).
They also want their member Ruth Iteu to represent MASA in the university council and for management to end attacks on the autonomy of staff associations and their leaders, among other concerns.
However, in a letter addressed to the chairperson MASA, NUEI and vice chairperson MUASA on Wednesday this week, the university vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe urged the staff associations to play their rightful role in restoring normalcy in the university to enable it to move forward as a premier university.
Magara cautioned Nawangwe and other members of management to handle all these matters raised expeditiously and provide a status report clearly enumerating the actions taken to address this matter to the University Council by Monday next week.
She also hailed the students for exercising restraint and understanding during this very difficult period.
“We sincerely apologise to the students, parents, guardians for the inconveniences caused to them and call upon the university management to make all necessary arrangements to ensure that the students achieve their academic goals without any further inconveniences,” she said.
Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Prof Nesta Mwavu the vice chairperson MUASA said a staff general assembly will be constituted on Monday to chat a way forward.