Datamine staff desert lecture rooms over delayed payments

By Ivan Kimbowa

MASAKA- A sizeable number of Datamine Technical Business School teachers, Masaka Branch, have laid down their tools protesting the delayed payment of their salary arrears.

The instructors say they have not been paid for the last nine months and their salary arrears  now amount to about Shs55 million.

 They say management has also failed to clear Shs10 million for teaching during holidays, supervising and marking examinations.

Datamine Technical Business School’s main branch is located at Bat Valley Crescent, off Bombo Road, in Kampala.

The Masaka branch occupies   the upper floor of Muto Complex on Elgin Street.

Ms Winnie Nalubowa, who heads the department of Hair Dressing and Cosmetology, said the students in her class have missed lessons for almost a month.

“I have not been working for many weeks because there is no motivation and my husband who stays and works in Kampala has been footing all my bills including y accommodation in Masaka for the past seven months,” she said.

Ms Nalubowa, who is considering to find other income generating activity than working as a ‘volunteer’, has since returned   to Kampala to reunite with her family.  

Mr Maurice Peter Matovu, another staff members said they are always lied to every time they ask for their salary arrears.

A few instructors who are still reporting at the institute have threatened not to supervise exams or mark their examinations for this semester unless their demands are met.

Most students on Wednesday resorted to loitering in Masaka Town after waiting for the instructors in vain.

One of the students who preferred anonymity, to speak freely about their predicament, said it is hard for them to learn under such circumstances given the fact that they need a lot of guidance from instructors.

In May this year, the staff petitioned Ms Irene Nakijjoba, the officer in charge of Masaka District Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations affairs to intervene and compel the administrators to pay their salary arrears.

Ms Nakijjoba said intends to forward the matter to the Industrial Court after failing to resolve the matter.

“Following several failed attempts to hold mediation meeting between teachers and management,  I am planning to forward the matter to court ,” she said.

Mr Mark Musoke, the academic registrar, who also doubles as the campus director said he knows all the staff members’ concerns adding that management will soon address them .

Mr Deo Nyanzi, the principal of Datamine Kampala branch said they are waiting for an official communication from Masaka to forge  a way forward.

“I am learning this from you, the media, but the few members who have decided to lay down their tools cannot hold us at ransom. Their delayed payments will soon be cleared,” Mr Nyanzi said.

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