Government has revealed that it will settle the salary enhancement arrears for both the teaching and non teaching staff across all the public universities amounting to Shs 58 billion in the current financial year.
This follows a resolution made by Cabinet during its sitting at State House Entebbe on Monday.
Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson while briefing the press on Tuesday on the Cabinet resolutions said that the Ministry of Finance has been directed to clear the outstanding arrears for staffers in public universities.
In the last financial year, a sum of Shs 58.5 billion had been budgeted for salary enhancement for lecturers in public universities but this payment was never met.
“You might recall that in 2015, government reached an understanding with lecturers and non teaching staff in all public universities to have their salaries enhanced,” Opondo said.
“It is now expected that the Ministry of Finance this financial year should clear a backlog which amounts to Shs 58 billion so that in the next financial year, we don’t have this tussle with lecturers,” he added.
In June this year, teaching and the non-teaching staff from the nine public universities announced a nationwide strike after failure by government to consider them for salary enhancements and payment of their arrears in the 2018/19 financial year budget.
At the time, the lecturers under the Forum for Academic Staff of Public Universities (FASPU) and the non-teaching staff under the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executive Forum (PUTISEF) said that government owed them up to Shs 138 billion.
Of this amount, Shs 58.5 billion was in arrears while Shs 78.5 billion was meant for salary enhancement in this current financial year.
In a related development, the government spokesperson on Tuesday said that Cabinet also directed the Ministry of Finance to pay the staff in public universities based on the newly revised salary structure.
“Apart from the dispute we had on the backlog, there is a new salary structure for all government universities called the enhanced salary structure. This means that their salaries, allowances and benefits have been raised,” Opondo noted.
“Consequently, Cabinet has ordered the Ministry of Finance to pay universities in accordance with the approved salary enhancement structure” he said.