Gulu University Lecturers Strike Over Allowances

He says some of the students have started attending the normal lectures illegally.
More than 150 lecturers at Gulu University have suspended weekend lecturers over unpaid extra work allowances for two semesters. Some of the lecturers say their allowances were deducted illegally while others says they were never paid for the first and second semesters in the 2015/2016 academic year.

During their meeting on August 13th, the lecturers resolved to suspend weekend lectures until their concerns are addressed by management. David Lagoro, the chairperson Gulu University Academic staff Association says the university owes them over Shillings 1 billion.

He says they resolved not to resume the weekend lectures until the university clears their money to zero balance. Lagoro says although normal lectures continue, they will not teach over the weekend. This will affect almost 1000 students who study over the weekend.

James Otim, a weekend student says the move has seen some of the students attend the weekday classes instead of weekend, which, is illegally. Otim says the strike by the lecturers is unfair to students as they are expected to clear fees even after missing lectures.

Last semester, Gulu University introduced a policy requiring lecturers to teach for at least ten hours a week if they are to receive the extra work allowance. One of the lecturers who preferred anonymity says the university owes him close to Shillings 5 million in weekend extra load allowances.

He also says the university illegally deducted Shillings 1.5 million from his extra load allowances without approval from the council. He says that even after the lecturers met the conditions set by the University requiring them to teach for ten hours, administered and marked exams, they were never paid their extra load allowances.

Khalid Mahmoud, the Gulu University Public Relations Officer says the university is working around the clock to clear the lecturer\'s allowances. 

The strike by the lecturers is a setback given the fact that the university had only opened after another strike by non-teaching staff in public universities across the country.

Close to 4000 non-teaching staff from six public universities including Makerere, Gulu, Muni, Mbarara, Busitema, Makerere University Business School and Kyambogo laid down their tools to compel government to give them a pay rise. They however agreed to call off the strike after government promised to consider their concerns.