Over 200 staff members at Kabale University on Tuesday laid down their tools over nonpayment of four months by the university authorities.
The strike was declared on Tuesday after a general staff meeting at the University following 4 months of no payment.
According to some staff members, doctor http://charadas.org/wp-includes/class-wp-term.php the university administration has taken long without considering their request for last semester’s payment which has hindered their performance.
Emmanuel Nkundizana, doctor http://clark-illustration.com/wp-admin/includes/class-walker-nav-menu-edit.php the Kabale University Academic Staff Association (KUASA) chairperson says that on top of delayed payment, treatment the university staff members have other grievances which must be addressed for them to resume work.
“Apart from missing our payment for 4 months, most of us do not have appointment letters. We work like volunteers who are not sure of their fate,” said Nkundizana.
Government in June this year took over Kabale University. However, according to the lecturers there, this development has not provided a better life to them.
Nkundizana adds that with the government takeover, a new staff structure is expected to be designed so as to fit the requirements of a public university. The lecturers are therefore demanding complete absorption in the new structure.
“Recently the University advertised for 67 positions, which makes us wonder why they advertised positions that we have been occupying! We are demanding the first consideration in the new structure,” added Nkundizana.
Lecturers further demanded for an independent financial audit in the accounts of the university, suspecting some financial mismanagement.
“This University has never faced such a financial crisis. Something must be wrong in our finances. We should get explanations in this,” said Alex Asiimwe another lecturer.
Asiimwe added that some of them had predicted this crisis owing to the casualness some university administrators had started exhibiting, as Last year the University council passed a 10 billion budget expecting 5 billion from the government which was not delivered. Since then they have been operating on debts, unable to find alternative funding sources.
Dr. Joseph Tindyebwa a Public administration lecturer at the University said that on top of these challenges, their problems as staff members are not considered by the University council since they lack representation on the governing body.
“The University council is not helping us at all. We lack representation there. How shall we have our issues resolved when we do not have a voice,” said Tindyebwa.
The question of the University Chancellor was also raised since there has not been any formal communication to the staff members on who exactly heads the institution.
“We are operating as a University without a chancellor since we became a public university; we have not seen anybody installed as our head,” added Tindyebwa.
By Tuesday evening, all administrative offices were closed and Manzi Tumubweine the University Council Chairperson declined to comment on the matter saying he was not aware of the strike.
Kabale University started as a community institution in October 2002 using structures that were provided by Kabale District local government on Kikungiri Hill.
It was in March 2005 granted a license by the National Council for Higher Education and was in 2014 granted a charter. From 42 students, the institution has now grown to accommodate about 4,000 students. Currently the University employs over 200 workers