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MUK don urges government to quickly resolve MUBS staff salary disparity

Dr. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson of the Forum for Academic Staff in Public Universities (FASPU) called on government to resolve the outstanding issue of  salary disparity for academic staff at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and align it with the salary scale for existing Public Universities.

In an interview with theCooperator, the FASPU leader revealed that the issue at  MUBS is that different categories of staff earn different salaries based on different appointment terms, a practice he says does not cohere with the rules governing staff remuneration in public universities. 

“We stand with MUBS staff and the Government must urgently address this matter, beyond which we shall not hesitate as public universities to lay down tools in solidarity with MUBS,” Kamunyu said. 

On November 15, 2020, Makerere University Business School Academic Staff Association (MUBASA) committed to an indefinite industrial action by the teaching staff, citing inconsistency in their current salaries with the Government wage bill structure for other public universities. 

“The issue is underpayment. As academic staff we expected our salaries to match what the Government gives to staff in other Universities,” said Brian Muyomba, the Chairperson, MUBASA. 

 He vowed that  MUBS’s academic staff will not relent until their expectations are met by the Government. 

Varied wage categories

Currently, six wage categories exist for different staff on the MUBS payroll. 

620 out of 1,187 staff members were appointed by the MUBS University Council and are under the ministry of Public service salary structure, with a 38.7 bn wage bill per year. 

Moreover, 80 staff members under the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS)  are still earning salary at their previous rank, despite having been promoted. The annual wage bill for this category is 6.5 bn. 

The third category includes staff appointed by the Universities Council on permanent terms. 97 in number, they are paid by the University (not Government) with a wage bill of over 3.5 bn annually. 

Staff who are paid by MUBS on appointment by the University Council on local contract terms are 46, while those appointed by the University Management under a similar arrangement number 299, with a wage bill of 1.3 bn and 7.7 bn per annum respectively. 

The last category consists of 45 Administrative Assistants appointed by MUBS, with a wage bill of over Shs 864m per year. 

In a letter dated September 1, 2020, Minister Muruli Mukasa recommended that the Government takes over the wage bill for 843 MUBS staff to match the pay scale for public Universities. He proposed that the government covers a wage deficit of over 4.92 bn that would enable the University meet its wage bill of 58.711 bn required for 2020/21. 

“Considering that wage for only 843 staff has been observed to result in extremely low staffing levels of below 30%, the ministry therefore advises the management of MUBS to capture its staffing needs and submit in the recruitment plans for FY 2020/21. Once funds are provided, then these positions should be filled completely,” Muruli said.

Meanwhile, said the MUBS administration partly bears the blame for the current stalemate at the university. 

“If there had been progress, maybe lecturers wouldn’t have threatened. This is an injustice that a normal management would appreciate and have it sorted. Much as the Government has resolved to have this ironed out, there are delays on the side of MUBS management,” Kamunyu said.

“We ask MUBS to cooperate with the Government such that this problem can be dealt with before we are all drawn into this course of action,” he added.

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