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Makerere University Staff Should Support their Demand for Salary Increment with Facts

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Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba

By Professor Venansius Baryamureeba
A Higher Education Expert and Former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University

On 13th August 2013 and 14th August 2013 I authored an article in Red Pepper and New Vision on Financing Makerere University. This was based on facts and in good faith. Thereafter some staff have tried to distort facts. So I am compelled to provide further factual information on Makerere University using my institutional memory and information available to me as a member of Senate for 12 years, a member of Council for 6 years, Dean for 8 years, and Vice Chancellor for 3 years. It is my duty as a Uganda and a Professor to provide researched information of public interest to the public. I appeal to my colleagues at Makerere University to take this in good faith otherwise why should universities exist?

The first thing to be noted is that Makerere University has at least 1,500 academic staff against a student population of not more than 35,000 translating into an average staff: student ratio of 1: 23. In science colleges the average staff: student ratio is about 1: 12 whereas in humanities the staff: student ratio is about 1: 25. As per the National Council for Higher Education this is a good staff: student ratio. Now staff establishments in Universities are based on student projections, say in the next five years. These in most cases are not realised. So it is misleading when someone determines the staffing levels of Makerere University using established positions in staff establishments.

The quality assurance policy of Makerere University requires every member of academic staff to teach a minimum of 12 contact hours per week as part of the monthly salary. Most courses at Makerere University have three contact hours and this would mean that per semester Makerere University runs 1,500 X (12/3) courses = 6,000 courses using only fulltime staff. But we all know that Makerere University has several part-time staff. The courses taught at Makerere University per semester are about 2,500. The actual figures can be got from the University timetable. So its clear that academic staff at Makerere University teach an average of less than 6 hours per week instead of the minimum of 12 hours.

So what do Makerere University staff do during official working hours if they are not able to teach the minimum load of 12 hours a week as part of their monthly salary? I will give you a few examples:

Staff in the School of law either operate law firms or work with law firms and on average earn UGX 6 million per month from legal services. As much as they have the liberty to engage in legal services beyond Makerere University, staff with the same qualifications working as Grade one Magistrates, working in the Directorate of Public Prosecution and with the Solicitor General to mention but a few are not allowed to engage in such yet they earn much less than what Makerere University pays teaching assistants and all these are in the same public service.

Staff in the College of Health Sciences in addition to providing health services at Mulago Hospital as part of their employment run hospitals, clinics either as owners or consultants from which each earns an average of UGX 6 million per month by just looking at consultation fees only. Just do a survey and find out who is running all these hospitals, clinics within a radius of 200 km from Kampala.

Staff in the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology are running consultancies. The most popular consultancy firm is Technology Consults where they earn not less than UGX 3 million per month.

The above trend is true for the rest of the University. In short academic staff in the University during the official working hours in addition to teaching, engage in other activities from which they generate additional income. These activities include but are not limited to part-time teaching, research, consultancies, projects, and services like legal services and medical (health) services. The income from these activities is not reflected on the payroll (monthly salary).

In addition, most colleges like College of Business and Management Sciences, School of Law, College of Computing and Information Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Education and External Studies pay a monthly top where a Professor earns at least UGX 1 million per month from internally generated funds and this is not reflected on the pay roll (monthly salary).

Again the salary figures of a Professor earning UGX 3 million, Associate Professor UGX 2.9 million, Senior Lecturer UGX 2.4 million, Lecturer UGX 2.1 million, and Assistant Lecturer UGX 2 million at Makerere University are falsified to justify a salary increment. Let the Accounting Officer be challenged to provide the right figures. Today a Science Professor earns at least UGX 4 million on the University payroll and an Arts Professor earns at least UGX 3.5 million prolata.

In the Universities in Kenya, Rwanda, Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa etc that we have been comparing with Makerere University run a different salary model. All money earned by staff from other sources is declared to the University and becomes part of the University income and is integrated in the individual salaries of staff. This is not the case in Uganda. So really we should not compare apples with oranges. Further the GDP of these countries is different. We would rather come back to Uganda find out how much lecturers with master’s degrees in diploma awarding institutions earn compared to assistant lecturers at Makerere University, etc.

I will restate my position that the only staff at Makerere University that deserve an increment are the senior lecturers, associate professors and professors; the rest are earning enough as per the salaries in other related sectors in Uganda.

Lastly, let me provide a clarification on few issues that have been raised against me as a former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. The audited books of accounts are there for everybody to see that during my term as Vice Chancellor we never posted any domestic arrears instead we reduced the domestic debt we found there. Before I left Makerere University in September 2012, I put it on record that Makerere University would be rated among the top five Universities in Africa by July 2013. So the recent ranking of Makerere University as the 4th in Africa did not come as a surprise. Remember that from September 2012 to June 2013 its just 10 months, so what contributed to the current ranking like research output in the last 10 months was already in the pipeline and with all due respect can not be credited to the Prof. Ddumba administration. I am looking forward to congratulating the Ddumba administration for their efforts in improving Makerere University ranking from January 2014 onwards. My starting UTAMU (Uganda Technology and Management University) a day after handing over as Vice Chancellor has nothing to do with Makerere University as an institution but has a lot to do with my ability to move on and never look back.

If Makerere University staff cannot find factual and believable data to support the salary increment then they should give up on their demand. Resorting to raising salaries using internally generated funds again is committing suicide.

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Over 400 Kampala women entrepreneurs undergo business training

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Businesswomen at the dfcu Bank Rising Woman Initiative training in Kampala.

By Our Reporter

Over 400 women entrepreneurs have benefited from a business training in Kampala organised by dfcu bank in partnership with Daily Monitor and Uganda Investment Authority. This marks the climax of a series of Business trainings that have been running across the country under the Rising Woman Initiative regional tours in Western – Ishaka, Eastern – Mbale, Northern – Gulu and Central Kampala mentoring women in business in fields such as business basics, business planning and enterprise management skills (Marketing skills, Communication, Recordkeeping and finance. A total of of over 1,200 women have benefited from these trainings. This brings to 2,700 the number of women who have been trained under the Rising Woman Initiative that’s currently in its second year.

The initiative is aimed at recognising and rewarding a culture of mentorship among women in Business in Uganda. This initiative is running for a second consecutive year will see over 100 women showcasing their products and services at an Expo that has been organised for Friday 15th and Saturday 16th November 2019 at Hotel Africana starting at 9:00 am.

The Expo is a culmination of the 2019 Rising Woman Initiative launched on June 19th 2019. The 2019 Expo will provide an opportunity for women-owned business and entrepreneurs to share knowledge and move their business forward. Over 200 exhibitors and attendees are expected to attend the two-day Expo. The women entrepreneurs have also been offered an opportunity for their businesses to be profiled and advertising space in selected media.

According to Victoria Byenkya Head of Women in Business program at dfcu, women-led businesses often fail due to diverse challenges but on top of the list is lack of information, financial constraints, social barriers and skill set gaps. Through these trainings, these gaps are being bridged at a free cost thereby working at creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs to flourish.

Joan Akumu who runs a confectionary business said “Marketing has always been my challenge since I am a sole entrepreneur. I do my work from home and I have to market it myself. This training has exposed me to better practices and I believe I will stand out once I implement this knowledge.”

According to Esther Kisaakye a Health and Nutritionist Marketer, who attended the training, it’s easy to forget the most essential things when running a business. “This training has reminded me and I have also learnt the business principles that I need to take my business forward. I enjoyed the training especially the part about the 7P of business.”

As part of the initiative, over 95 businesswomen participated in proposal writing. The top 3 winners will win UGX 15 million, 10 million and 5 million respectively and the overall top 10 will take part in an all-expense paid study tour to Nairobi.

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MTN Foundation hands over blood storage equipment to Mbarara Regional Blood Bank

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By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda Foundation has officially handed over blood storage equipment to the Mbarara Regional blood bank under the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS). This is in a bid to address the issue of blood shortage arising from inadequate blood storage equipment.

The state-of-the-art blood refrigerator was handed over to the Parliamentary Woman Representative for Mbarara Municipality, Hon. Rosette Kajungu Mutambi in a ceremony held on Thursday at the Mbarara Regional Blood Bank in Mbarara district.

This follows the telecom company’s pledge in July when it availed UGX. 347 million to procure the equipment that comprises of an automated plasma extractor and 3 blood refrigerators. The automated plasma extractor that will be stationed at the Nakasero Blood Bank will be used for the processing of blood plasma to extract components of red and white blood cells, and platelets for the Nakasero blood bank.

The three refrigerators will be delivered to the regional blood banks based at the regional referral hospitals in Mbarara, Mbale and Arua.

While handing over the equipment, Mr. Bryan Mbasa, the Acting Senior Manager, MTN Foundation reiterated MTN Uganda’s commitment to supporting government’s push towards meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.

“We are proud of this partnership with the UBTS and the Ministry of Health in complementing their efforts to make available this scarce resource of blood,” Mr. Mbasa said.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Dr. Andrew Byamungu, the principal Medical Officer at the Mbarara Regional Blood Bank noted that the refrigerators will address the issue of blood shortage that has been arising from inadequate storage facilities.

“In the past, we have been losing a lot of blood because of lack of adequate storage but that will no longer be an issue. We thank MTN for this refrigerator because it will enable us store blood and avail it to the hospital whenever they need it,” Dr. Byamungu said.

According to Byamungu, the Mbarara Regional blood bank serves 62 hospitals in sixteen districts in the western region of the country. He explains that blood is mostly consumed by anaemic children aged below five years, mothers after delivery, accident victims and other patients.

Mr. Gilbert Sande, the Head of Logistics at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services said that with the new refrigerator donated by the MTN Foundation, Mbarara regional blood bank will be able to store more than twice the amount of blood they have been storing.

“We had storage capacity of 300 units. But now with the new refrigerator that stores over 700 units, we shall be able to have over 1000 units of blood at any one time,” Mr. Sande

While receiving the equipment, Hon. Kajungu thanked the MTN Foundation for working together with the government for the good of the people of Uganda.

“Thank you MTN Foundation Uganda for this equipment. It will go a long way in addressing the blood shortage issues that arise from lack of adequate storage of donated blood to save lives,” Hon. Kajungu said. “The MTN Foundation has shown its passion for maternal health. By supporting safe blood storage, more mothers will be saved since more blood will be available, thanks to this initiative.”

Mbarara becomes the first regional blood bank to receive its equipment. Arua and Mbale are set to receive theirs in due course.

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Boda Boda riders tipped on Road Safety

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By Our Reporter

As part of their safety agenda, Uganda Breweries Limited has trained Boda Boda riders in road safety awareness.

The training program conducted at the brewery in Luzira saw over 50 boda boda cyclists from the boda stages in Luzira receive training on road safety practices and given measures that will help keep them, their passengers and other road users safe on the road.

The safety training is part of a celebration to mark seven and twelve years of “No Lost Time Accident” at Uganda Breweries Limited and its spirits plant; International Distillers Uganda respectively.

An LTA (Lost Time Accident) is a type of accident that causes an employee to skip work for a day or more to pursue treatment. These kinds of accidents are common in places where heavy machinery is operated such as a brewery.
On average, Uganda loses 10 people every day in road traffic crashes, a 2018 UN road safety report on Uganda shows, costing the country $1.2 billion (about sh.4.4 trillion) annually.

According to the Uganda Police, over 50 percent of road accidents are caused due to boda bodas, with the highest numbers registered in urban centres like Kampala.

“We decided to carry out this training because road safety is an issue that affects all of us. As Uganda Breweries, we are firmly committed to ensuring that everybody that comes to our site goes home safe and we want to share these values with our community.” Joseph Kabwaama the UBL’s Health and Safety Manager said.

He added that they had started the campaign by training cyclists in Luzira because most of the UBL staff stay in the area and use boda bodas as a means of transport.

“We shall have more road safety awareness engagements around the country to increase road safety awareness and to help change boda boda cyclists attitude and behavior on the road, thereby indoctrinating a road safety culture among them.” Kabwaama added.

The boda boda cyclists who attended the training were urged to uphold safe practices and measures while using the road to ensure their own safety and that of their passengers.
They were also given safety gear that included helmets and reflector jacket and urged to always use the safety gear as it protects them from the dangers you face on the road daily.

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