Striking Gulu University Staff Ordered Back To Work
Catherine Bitarakwate, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service has ordered striking non- teaching staff of Gulu University to resume work immediately.
In a letter dated September 21, 2017 copied to Gulu University Vice Chancellor Prof Jack Nyeko Pen-Mogi, Bitarakwate said salary arrears for non-teaching staff for the Financial Year 2015/2016 had been paid. The Permanent Secretary accordingly advised the striking non-teaching staff to resume duty.
On Monday, Pen-Mogi warned that any staff who does not report back to work will be held individually responsible for his/her own action.
Under their umbrella, Gulu University Senior Administrative Non-Teaching Staff Association (GUSASA), the staff remained defiant. At a meeting on Monday at the university the striking staff said they will only resume work after being fully paid. Mouhmoud Khalid, their Chairperson claims the university owes the striking support staff 1.8 billion shilling. He urged his colleagues to stay home until they are fully paid.
Although a document obtained by this reporter indicates that the Ministry of Finance released a total of 3.32 Billion Shillings to Gulu University, only 1.3 Billion was paid. In a letter dated September 14, 2016, Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija explained that the money is to facilitate payment of arrears of salaries enhancement for non-teaching staff of public universities arising from the financial year 2015/2016.
But Pen-Mogi says not all the fund advanced by the government to the institution was meant for paying arrears for the non- teaching staff. He said money advanced by government for payment of non-teaching staff was fully paid to them.
However, in a letter dated September 6, 2017, the Ministry of Finance questioned why the Gulu University spent only 66.1 percent of the salary arrears that it had been advanced.