Makerere University is facing an atmosphere of apprehension due to the delayed disbursement of the May staff salaries, more than a week into the new month.
At the end of April, the university secretary expressed regret for the delay, attributing it to unforeseen challenges in transitioning the payroll data from the integrated personnel and payroll system (IPPS) to the human capital management (HCM) system.
However, Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa) expressed dissatisfaction with this explanation. In his statement issued earlier last month, Muasa chairperson Dr Robert Kakuru questioned when the recurring delays would come to an end. Kakuru raised concerns about the apologies from the university secretary, noting that a similar incident occurred in April.
He emphasized the importance of addressing the issue promptly, stating, "How long will the apologies continue? It is important to remind the management and the university secretary that while certain members of the administration enjoy university cars and fuel to facilitate their duties, academic staff do not receive such allowances. Our staff rely on their salaries to support the university's operations and provide for their families."
He expressed dismay at the ongoing struggle, especially at a time when many staff members are in desperate need of their salaries to sustain their families. Kakuru highlighted the stress caused by the delays, particularly with the return of students and the commencement of exams.
"Last month, our salaries were delayed when our children were returning home, and now, our salaries are delayed as our children are returning to school. Moreover, exams are commencing on Monday. The management must understand the immense stress this is causing our members," Kakuru remarked.
He declared that he would not accept any further apologies from the administration and called on his colleagues to initiate a slowdown in response to the situation. He stated that during the upcoming Muasa general assembly, they would seek a resolution from members to commence a slowdown on the 30th of each month if salaries are not paid by the 28th, in accordance with the MAK HR manual.
In his May 5, 2023 letter to all staff, university secretary, Yusuf Kiranda, acknowledged that staff members had not yet received their salaries.
He attributed the ongoing situation to the incomplete migration to a new payment system and explained the challenges encountered during the transition, leading to certain staff members being excluded from the payroll. However, Kiranda assured the staff that they have been in constant communication with the ministry of Finance to rectify the issue.
"I would like to emphasize that we submitted salary invoices for 2,529 staff on the 31st of May 2023 and for 415 staff on the 1st of June 2023," he stated.
He further appealed for the staff's continued patience as they diligently follow up with the ministry of Finance to ensure the timely payment of salaries for May 2023.