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Workers Reject Govt’s Proposed Pay Rise, Warn of Strike

The National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) claims that the proposal announced by Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi falls way below their earlier demands


KAMPALA. The association of trade unions that brings together over a million workers in Uganda has rejected the proposed pay rise by government and warned of industrial action should a new structure not be put in place in three months.

The National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) claims that the proposal announced by Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi falls way below their earlier demands.

Mr Christopher Werikhe, the secretary general NOTU, says the recently announced pay rise is not what the two parties agreed upon, is discriminative and leaves out other workers.

“You are aware that according to the Labour Union Act 2006, and the Public Service (Negotiating, Consultative and Dispute Settlement Machinery) Act 2008, labour unions negotiate salaries on behalf of the workers. To this effect, we would like to reject the estimated proposal of salaries declared on 20th March, 2018 announced by the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Treasury, Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, that this is not the agreed position of the workers and government,” he said.

Last week, Cabinet approved increment of salaries for selected civil servants in the coming financial year, among them doctors, scientists, including those in teaching profession, lecturers and non-teaching staff in public universities, low ranking police and prisons officers.

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Others include head teachers and their deputies, soldiers of low ranks, judicial officials and local government political leaders.

In the new released pay structure, a senior medical officer/senior dental surgeon, who was earning Shs1.3m, will now earn Shs2.7m per month. While the enrolled nurse currently earning shs400,000 will now earn shs600,000.

However, NOTU noted that in their agreement, the minimum a medical doctor is supposed to earn is shs5m while an enrolled nurse gets Shs2.1m, inclusive of allowances.

“How do you pay a science teacher a salary of Shs2 million yet his supervisor, the head teacher, is earning Shs2,050,000? Who will supervise who?” said Mr Werikhe.

“The so called enhancement is discriminative and leaves out other workers, most especially those working with local governments and only provide for political leaders,” he added.

The workers also said the issue of medic’s allowances of lunch (Shs300,000), transport (Shs300,000) and housing (Shs500,000), was left out in the proposed pay rise.

NOTU chairman Usher Wilson Owere said the countdown to the planned industrial action started on March 20 when they petitioned Mr Muhakanizi.

“Therefore, in view to the mentioned explanation above, we are giving 90 days statutory notice to withdraw labor with effect from June 23, 2018, incase our affiliates view cannot be captured in the budget of 2018/2019,”said Owere.

The decision was backed by several unions, which include the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union, the Uganda National Teachers Union, Uganda Medical Workers Union, Uganda Local Government Workers Union, National Union of Government Workers Union, National Union of Educational Institution (NUEI), and the Uganda Government and Allied Workers Union (UGAWU).

 

 

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