UCU suspends staff pay as lockdown batters education sector

From Agencies,

Uganda Christian University (UCU) has suspended staff contracts over the ongoing lockdown over coronavirus.

In a note to staff issued on Friday, May 22, UCU Vice Chancellor Rev. Canon. Dr. John Senyonyi said they will only manage to pay three quarters (75 per cent) of each staff’s salary for May 2020 and will suspend all their duties from June 1. This affects both contract and full-time staff.

Dr Senyonyi said the closure of the university since March 20, 2020, means they can’t collect fees from students, a key source of income for the university.

He added staff that students were unable to pay all tuition for the Easter semester and neither has it admitted any new students nor received back old ones.

“The performance of the duties, obligation and circumstances and responsibilities under the contracts of employment will stand suspended effective June 1, 2020,” Senyonyi wrote.

He added that this “means that the affected employees of UCU will not be required to report to work and perform as their duties will not be achievable without extreme difficulty and inconvenience.”

However he added that the suspension of contracts doesn’t imply termination. But the administration says suspension will remain in place until such a time when they resume normal business, that would be anywhere in the months of August and September, if the circumstances permit.

UCU joins a litany of private universities that have found it extremely difficult to pay staff during the lockdown. Ndejje, Nkumba, and Uganda Martyrs universities have announced they will be unable to pay staff.

Their administrators have subsequently asked the government to give them a stimulus to be able to operate normally again. Universities were the first to be closed in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus two months ago.

Staff members whose services are deemed essential to the university even during lockdown will be paid beyond May. Those who are charged with teaching finalists will also receive their salaries beyond June. President Museveni has indicated final year students could resume studies from June.

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