The executive members of Makerere University Academic Staff Association Muasa are in the process of convening another general assembly just a day after they failed to convince lecturers to call off a sit down strike. In a letter dated December 16, 2016, Dr Lawrence Mugisha, the Muasa vice general secretary calls staff for another meeting on December 19th adding that all should attend in person.
Muasa General Assembly after members turned rowdy and matched out of the meeting.
The executive members of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa) are in the process of convening another general assembly just a day after they failed to convince lecturers to call off a sit down strike.
In a letter dated December 16, 2016, Dr Lawrence Mugisha, the Muasa vice general secretary calls staff for another meeting on December 19th adding that all should attend in person.
“This is to invite you for the Emergency General Assembly (EGA), Monday 19th December, 2016 at 10 am at the Main Hall, Makerere Main Building. This follows a resolution of the EGA held on 15th Dec, 2016 for further engagement with the Council,” says Dr Mugisha in his letter.
Dr Mugisha says the Muasa Executive and the Strike Management Committee engaged the Council and have received a position which they wish to staff.
During the Muasa Assembly on Thursday at Makerere's Main Hall, the meeting ended prematurely after some of the lecturers took issue with what they called a vague letter from the University Council.
The Council chairperson, Dr Charles Wana-Etyem, had communicated that the university was committing to pay incentive arrears from February to June 2016. Dr Etyem, however noted that he was not sure of payments after June 2016 and that discussions were still underway on the matter.
This angered some of the lectures who maintained their sit-down strike saying that the university council in its consultative meeting with executive did not have specifications and clear guidelines regarding the payment of their incentive arrears.
The lecturers went on strike on October 26 demanding payment of their incentive arrears amounting to 28 billion shillings at the time. Since 2013, each lecturer has been receiving a 70% salary top-up to cater for extra duties related to teaching students on evening and weekend programmes.
President Yoweri Museveni reacted by closing the university on November 1st saying he did so to protect life and property after students also launched violent strikes.
Earlier this week, Muasa executive and members of Council together with management held a consultative meeting at Makerere Senate Conference hall and made offers to lecturers which have today been rejected in their general assembly.
During the meeting, Dr. Etyem agreed to immediately effect payment for the November salary and a one month incentive arrears. "Other incentive arrears for four months will be paid by 30th June 2017,” he said.
In a heated general assembly on Thursday, Prof. Jean John Barya of the School of Law gave an interpretation of the Council Letter to Muasa saying it gave no concrete direction. It was at this point that some members of staff started walking out in protest.
Muasa chairperson, Dr. Muhammed Kiggundu, made several attempts to call back the protesting staff and managed to convince some. The few staff who stayed resolved that they adjourn the general assembly up to when council provides concrete feedback.
At the closure of Makerere on November 1, the University had 5.3 billion on its accounts. In their general assembly on Thursday, Muasa members were told that despite its closure, the university accounts have only 600 million shillings after clearing utility bills and putting aside the November salary.