COVID-19 EFFECT: Islamic University in Uganda cuts staff salaries by 90%

  • by Mary Ociiti
  • July 19, 2020

The Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) has announced salary cuts of up to 90 per cent for its staff members following a review of the terms of employment amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.

The university secretary Hussein Lukyamuzi says that the institution is unable to pay salaries to staff members as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown which has affected the operations of all educational institutions.

Lukyamuzi states in a letter dated July 16, that the university council, the top governing body of the university convened an extraordinary meeting on June 24 and on July 8, in which it reviewed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on the university’s finances and operations.

The meetings concluded that while the university was able to pay salaries to the staff at all IUIU campuses up to May 2020, it is unable to continue paying full salaries to staff as from June 2020.

The meeting concluded that only a small percentage of staff should be retained to run basic and critical services of the university at each of the campuses. These will be paid only 50 per cent of the usual salaries. The rest of the staff will be paid 30 per cent for June 2020, 20 per cent for July, August, and September 2020 and 10 per cent for October, November and December 2020.

“The university does and shall not be able to pay staff any portion of the salary that may not be paid as from June 2020. Consequently, any portion of the salary that the university shall not pay between June and December 2020 shall be forfeited by the staff,” according to the letter addressed to all members of staff.

But the same staff have been tasked to keep in touch with their students online, recruiting new students for the university and carrying out community support activities as far as possible.

Haji Ali Dago, the head of Language, Literature and Linguistics commended the university for not disowning its staff like it had done before when it decided to suspend all its staff members. He, however, said that the university ought to pay staff members their arrears when the lockdown is lifted and school resumes.

He said unless the university exempts students from paying the fees for the semester for which they did not study and leaves them to complete the academic year, there is no way it can fail to pay arrears.