A number of colleges have halted the evening student’s lectures across Makerere University. The wave started last week with students at the law school threatening industrial action. Other colleges grossly affected with this predicament include the College of Humanities and Social Science – Chuss and College of Veterinary Medicine.
According to Dr Tayeebwa William, the head of department journalism and communication say, lecturer’s industrial action is not one that started yesterday; this problem has almost been there since last year in October.
“Since October 2017, our arrears for the evening lectures have not been paid yet we offer all the services required of us,” he said.
“But who is to blame, what is the mother of all these financial woes in the greatest institution in the region?,” the head of department asked.
Despite the fact that none of the students is allowed to sit for exams without paying full tuition, a number of financial woes still rock Uganda oldest and best university who is also ranked highly on the continent.
From last year, the internship supervisors have not been paid; the arrears for the lecturers teaching the evening programme have not yet been remitted since last year.
According to Tayeebwa, lecturers at Makerere work for a maximum of 12 hours a week. From 8:00 am- 5:00 pm, the lecturers’ time and services within these hours are paid by the government, meaning, they are on government payroll.
However, to attain the 12 hour mark as set by the University council, the lecturers have to teach over time from 5:00pm -10:00pm.
The extra service in overtime is duly catered for by the University which means in this case the lecturers are privately paid. Each hour in overtime attracts a fee of UGX35, 000
However, Tayeebwa says, none of his staff members has received this money since last year.
“We have worked for over a year now without being paid for overtime f allowances, this is not something we are ready to go on doing,” the angrily Tayeebwa told Cylcone Times.
“We have been banking on empty promises from the vice chancellor,” he added.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the University’s Vice Chancellor – VC, blames the ongoing predicament on the college heads who failed to submit their staff workloads and timetables for the overtime work since last year to ensure proper planning.
However, Tayeebwa refutes the claims saying all members submitted their individual schedules and workloads to the office of the VC through him.
The Makerere University academic staff association is set to sit next week on Friday the 9 February to deliberate on this issue. The agenda of the meeting will include the arrears incentives and evening teaching payment, salary harmonisation and budget enhancement and approval among others.