What you need to know:
- The union demanded that the entry point employees and other support staff earn Shs1.7 million, while the pay for those at the level of the chief administrative officers (CAOs) be raised from Shs 2.5 million to Shs 15 million.
Local government workers have demanded an explanation from the Finance ministry as to why their salary enhancement has not been prioritised in the First Budget Call Circular for the 2024/2025 Financial Year.
In a September 25 letter addressed to the Secretary to the Treasury, the workers, through their union, the Uganda Local Government Workers Union (ULGWU), say the government “committed herself to salary enhancement for Local Government Workers and other civil servants who have never benefited.”
Mr Hassan Mudiba, the ULGWU’s secretary general, adds in the letter that the workers are further dismayed that “no communication as to why [the] government has breached its own promise” has been directly addressed to the union.
Following economical hurdles, the government recently announced that salary enhancement for public servants had been suspended by one year Financial Year 2023/2024. It added that implementation of a comprehensive salary enhancement plan will commence effective the Financial Year 2024/2025.
Some of the proposed priorities for the next fiscal year budget include; effective implementation of the Parish Development Modal (PDM); agricultural production and value addition, development of the oil and gas sector, accelerated development of the minerals sector, and implementation of the export strategy.
Others are digitalisation and automation of the economy, private sector development, integrated infrastructural development, promoting service sector effectiveness and accountability, among others.
Apart from the salary enhancement uncertainties, the local government workers also accused the government of failing to involve workers in the Budget Formulation Process, contrary to several provisions of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (with Amendments).
These, they added, are operationalised through several legislations, including: Public Service (Negotiating Consultative and Disputes Settlement Machinery) Act 2008, and Equal Opportunities Commission Act 2007, among others.
“It is no longer a secret to state that discrimination in treatment among the public service has demoralised workers and adversely affected service delivery, which calls for immediate remedies to stabilise the service before it degenerates to unbearable levels,” the letter reads.
Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, the Secretary to the Treasury, was not available for a comment by press time.
Last year, ULGWU alongside other public service labour unions laid down their tools after they accused the government of failing to honour the 2018 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The CBA underscored a pledge to increase salaries for all public servants.
The union demanded that the entry point employees and other support staff earn Shs1.7 million, while the pay for those at the level of the chief administrative officers (CAOs) be raised from Shs 2.5 million to Shs 15 million.
The union, however, later called off the strike after holding several talks with officials from the Public Service ministry over the matter.
Before the Local government workers’ strike, the teachers, nurses and doctors had downed their tools, demanding a pay rise.
The government managed to hold its ground, but only barely. It said salary enhancement would be done in a phased manner, starting with scientists, including science teachers since the resource envelope was small. The salary of scientists, including science teachers, has been enhanced thus far.