Ms Rita Namisango, Makerere University acting Spokesperson.

 

Ms Rita Namisango, Makerere University acting Spokesperson.
Ms Rita Namisango, Makerere University acting Spokesperson.

First year students at Makerere University will have to wait for another week before they can report for the first semester of 2015.

This follows a sit down strike organized by non-teaching staff at seven public universities, demanding for increased pay packages.

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But in an emergency meeting held on Tuesday, August 11 the University Council resolved to extend the opening of the semester from Saturday August 15 to August 22, while continuing students have their reporting timetable rescheduled by two days, from August 22 to August 24, ostensibly to give more time for negotiations between the government and the striking staff.

“It is true we have pushed the semester for after one week and it’s just to enable the government, public university administration and the non-teaching staff to negotiate,” Ms Ritah Namisango, the Makerere University Public Relations Officer, said.

She said the negotiations between the two parties progressive and that she believes a consensus will be reached soon.

“About the negotiations, I cannot say much but they are going on smoothly and let’s hope for the best. By the end of this week, a communication about them (sic) will be out,” Ms Namisango said.

When contacted for a comment on the progress of the negotiations, the Minister for Education and Sports, Jessica Alupo could neither pick the phone calls nor reply the text messages.

By filing time it was not possible to establish what the other six universities had resolved but contacted, a group of students at Kyambogo University expressed concern at the way events were unfolding ahead of the first semester of 2015.

They said that many who have been in ‘recess’ at the university had to stop as soon as the non-teaching staff started the strike on August 3, 2015.

“We stopped studying because most buildings we use are run by the non-teaching staff. For example the locks of one laboratory that we normally used were blocked with super glue just to prevent us from accessing it,” Rashid Kagoro, a second year student of Information Technology and Computing, said.

Work at the University Senate Building is also at a standstill as one electrician decided to switch off the main power supply when the strike begun, the students said.

On August 3, support staff at the universities of Makerere, Kyambogo, Gulu, Busitema, Muni, Soroti and the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), went on strike, claiming they had been discriminated against when in the 2015/16 budget government released Shs50billion to cater for the teaching staff increments.

It is said that under the new structure, a professor will now earn about 6 million shillings, up from about Shs4 million, something that has since rubbed the non-teaching staff the wrong way.

First year students at Makerere University will have to wait for another week before they can report for the first semester of 2015.

This follows a sit down strike organized by non-teaching staff at seven public universities, demanding for increased pay packages.

But in an emergency meeting held on Tuesday, August 11 the University Council resolved to extend the opening of the semester from Saturday August 15 to August 22, while continuing students have their reporting timetable rescheduled by two days, from August 22 to August 24, ostensibly to give more time for negotiations between the government and the striking staff.

“It is true we have pushed the semester for after one week and it’s just to enable the government, public university administration and the non-teaching staff to negotiate,” Ms Ritah Namisango, the Makerere University Public Relations Officer, said.

She said the negotiations between the two parties progressive and that she believes a consensus will be reached soon.

“About the negotiations, I cannot say much but they are going on smoothly and let’s hope for the best. By the end of this week, a communication about them (sic) will be out,” Ms Namisango said.

When contacted for a comment on the progress of the negotiations, the Minister for Education and Sports, Jessica Alupo could neither pick the phone calls nor reply the text messages.

By filing time it was not possible to establish what the other six universities had resolved but contacted, a group of students at Kyambogo University expressed concern at the way events were unfolding ahead of the first semester of 2015.

They said that many who have been in ‘recess’ at the university had to stop as soon as the non-teaching staff started the strike on August 3, 2015.

“We stopped studying because most buildings we use are run by the non-teaching staff. For example the locks of one laboratory that we normally used were blocked with super glue just to prevent us from accessing it,” Rashid Kagoro, a second year student of Information Technology and Computing, said.

Work at the University Senate Building is also at a standstill as one electrician decided to switch off the main power supply when the strike begun, the students said.

On August 3, support staff at the universities of Makerere, Kyambogo, Gulu, Busitema, Muni, Soroti and the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), went on strike, claiming they had been discriminated against when in the 2015/16 budget government released Shs50billion to cater for the teaching staff increments.

It is said that under the new structure, a professor will now earn about 6 million shillings, up from about Shs4 million, something that has since rubbed the non-teaching staff the wrong way.