According to Jackson Betihamah, the Chairperson of the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executive Forum-Puntsef, their meeting with the president didn’t produce tangible results.
President Museveni during his wealth creation in Karamoja sub-region at Boma Grounds in Naitakwai, Moroto Municipality. PPU Photo
Museveni has advised staff of public universities to report back to work and
allow him handle their salary enhancement demands.
While meeting leaders of public universities staff
associations at State House Entebbe on Tuesday evening, Museveni said that he wasn’t
aware that his 2015 directive to enhance the salaries of professors to
15million shillings hadn’t been fulfilled.
He had invited the
staff to discuss delayed enhancement of their salaries, which prompted them to
lay down their tools. Both teaching and non-teaching staffs across public universities
laid down their tool early this month to compel government to fulfill the
president’s directive to enhance their salaries.
According to Jackson
Betihamah, the Chairperson of the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff
Executive Forum-Puntsef, their meeting with the president didn’t produce tangible
"I think we attended a meeting, which wasn’t ours. We
had all these other staff associations for teachers and workers across. They
were basically thanking the president for enhancing their salaries for this
financial year," Betihamah said in an interview with URN.
Adding that; "The president informed us that he wasn’t aware
that a professor had not reached Shillings 15million as promised. It was not a
good meeting generally. We came from there without any tangible promise. Not
even a road map and we feel we were not given a fair hearing."
The meeting which,
started at 4:00PM and ended at 7:30pm was attended by leaders of staff
associations in public universities, chairpersons of university councils and
vice chancellors among others.
Also in attendance were representatives of the University
Professional and Academic Staff Union (UPASU), Uganda National Teachers' Union
(UNATU) National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) and Central Organization
of Free Trade Unions (COFTU).
During the meeting, the president allegedly feigned ignorance
over the unfulfilled pledges.
"We have had a long day with His Excellency.
Unfortunately we were not aware that the meeting was to thank the president for
the offer of the UGX 15bn. On the balance of salary enhancement the president
said he was not aware that a professor had not yet achieved the Shillings 15million
mark. He promised that he will handle that himself and advised that we go back
to work," a source who attended the meeting disclosed to our reported
immediately after the meeting.
Rev. Dr. Grace Lubaale, the chairperson of the Forum for
Academic Staff of Public Universities -FASPU urged staff to resume work
following the meeting.
"We met the President at State House Entebbe regarding
15M Shillings of a Professor Pro rata. He said he wasn't aware that the matter
was still pending, he then promised to handle it himself expeditiously,"
Rev. Dr. Lubaale.
Adding that; "He advised us to report to work. With
the above, please report to work with immediate effect as we wait on the
President to handle the matter.”