David Bala Bwiruka said that if the government has not resolved the striking non-teaching staff issues by the end of this week, the students will be left with no option but to join the strike.

 

David Bala Bwiruka said that if the government has not resolved the striking non-teaching staff issues by the end of this week, the students will be left with no option but to join the strike.
David Bala Bwiruka said that if the government has not resolved the striking non-teaching staff issues by the end of this week, the students will be left with no option but to join the strike.

 

Students at Makerere University have threatened to go on strike if the non-teaching staff continue with their industrial action which started on Monday, August 3.

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On Monday the non-teaching staff under their umbrella body Public Universities Non-teaching Staff Executive Forum (PUNTSEF) declared a sit down, faulting government for failure to increase their salaries.

The students argue that strike by the non-teaching staff is negatively impacting on their studies as they are unable to access services at the university. Currently, there are students who remain at the University Recess’ but are unable to access their faculties because they are locked.

Even the Main Library which has always been open for students to do their reading and research is also closed and Makerere University Guild President David Bala Bwiruka said that if the government has not resolved the striking non-teaching staff issues by the end of this week, the students will be left with no option but to join the strike.

“We are thinking that government will act very fast to intervene in order to put the situation to order because the strike is having a very negative impact on the operation of the universities,” Bwiruka noted.

He added that the that university is now supposed to be handling a number of student issues like clearance of missing results and issuing of admission forms to fresh students, is non-functional.

“We are calling upon government to act very fast to rescue the situation; but if no solution is provided, we will be joining the strike at a point that we are not receiving the services that we pay for,” Bwiruka said.

When Eagle online spoke to the Minister of State in charge of Higher Education Prof. Sandy Steven Tickodri Togboa, he could not comment, saying he is out of the country.

Also, efforts to reach the education minister Jessica Alupo were futile as she could neither pick nor return our calls.

However, earlier on she had said that government is aware that the support staff had asked for enhancement of their salaries but that the Ministry was financially constrained.

She also asked them not lay down their tools and be patient with government up to the next financial year.

But the PUNTSEF Secretary General Bruce Tweisgye says the staff will not return to work until government meets their demands as stated in a petition that was handed to the Speaker of Parliament.

On Monday, support staff at all the seven public universities went on strike, demanding that their salaries be increased just like the teaching staff.