Gulu varsity lecturers vow to resume strike if not paid

By Denis Otim

Gulu

Gulu university lecturers have promised to resume striking, if management of their management does not pay their accumulated allowances amounting 700 million shillings by Monday, February 12.

The lecturers’ threat comes a day of resuming work, after a month of industrial action.

On Wednesday, the lecturers, under their umbrella body Gulu University Academic Staffs Association (GUASA), resolved to start lectures and administer end of term one examination to students after the University management promised to pay them this week.

The University Vice Chancellor Prof. George Openjuru Ladaah told the academic staff that they had received 2 billion shillings advance from the government to carter for university activities and pay lecturers allowances.

He noted that 800 million shillings would be used to clear extra load allowances for weekend lecturers starting Monday 12.

Prof Openjuru added that end of semester one examinations would commence on February 14th, next week.

However, some members of GUASA said although they have accepted to resume work, we will strike again if not paid by Monday.

“We have accepted to resume work because we heard honest and reasonable explanation from Prof Openjuru.”

“We also have some evidence that indeed the money is in the University account. Their promises have wooed us to resume work, but if this is not honored, we still have time to change our minds,” said Karlo Ojok, the GUASA General Secretary in an interview Thursday.

Ojok said they will only administer examination once their money has been deposited in their bank accounts.

He noted they still have pending grievances to be handled by the University management, but are holding on for the sake of the students.

Ojok cited the University’s failure to pay marking allowances amounting to 50 million shillings, Gratuity amounting to 1.9 million shillings, a 250 million shillings honorary allowances, and 700 million shillings salary enhancements for financial year 2016/2017.

He added that other unfulfilled grievances include failure by the University management to clear 300 million shillings allowance for internal and external dissertations for the last three years, and NSSF staff contribution amounting to 600 million shillings.

The former Vice Chancellor Prof Jack Nyeko Penmogi in December last year, suspended end of semester one examination for more than 4,000 students when the academic staff laid down their tools.

The strike prompted intervention of legislators on the committee of Education and Sports who recommended for a thorough forensic audit after academic staffs alleged the University management have misappropriated huge amount of money.