Covid-19: quarantine centre cooks strike, Makerere staff demand pay

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Cooks attached to Pabbo Quarantine Centre in Amuru District are on strike following the delayed payment of their wages.


The four cooks say that they have not been paid for the last two months, reported Daily Monitor.


Each cook is supposed to earn Shs20, 000 every day to cater for 62 people who are under quarantine at the centre.


On Monday, the cooks put down their tools, leaving the patients starving.

Melbet


Osborn Geoffrey Oceng, the chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force in the district told Daily Monitor that they are engaging the cooks to ensure that they resume work.


According to the District Health Officer, Patrick Odong Olwedo, the majority of the people at the quarantine centre are not residents of the area.
Unlike in other quarantine centres in other districts, where relatives of those under quarantine are tasked to provide food to their relatives, in Amuru it’s impossible.
He said failure to provide food at the centre, means that those who are under quarantine might escape to look for food.

Amuru District chairman Michael Lakony said that Shs165m which was sent to the district from the National COVID-19 Task Force was spent in May and since then, no extra money has been sent to the district.


Makerere staff demand pay


Meanwhile, things aren’t that great in Kampala where Makerere University staff who worked during the Covid-19 lockdown are demanding their allowances even after they were informed that there is no money.


On August 20, Yusuf Kiranda, the acting university secretary, wrote to all staff stating that the university is faced with financial constraints and therefore, does not have money to address the claims.


“This is to inform you that the university is faced with limitations in cash releasing and has been required to be frugal on expenditure. As a result, several consumptive items, including claims for allowance-related working during the Covid-19 lockdown cannot be honoured,” Kiranda wrote.


However, the affected staff insist they want their allowances because they risked their lives and have since spent a lot of money on transport to come to work.


Stephen Kalema, the deputy chairperson of Makerere University Administrative Staff Association, told Daily Monitor that the workers, especially the non-teaching staff, have been working even when the university was closed.


He said the staff have been conducting interviews for replacement of teaching staff, certifying academic documents of former students and handling admissions of private students which were released last week.


Other staff who have been working are cleaners, custodians, security officers, secretaries in the main building and other administrative staff.

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