What you need to know:
- Six categories of public officers, including health professionals and tutors, scientists in mainstream public service, science teachers in post primary schools, among others, are the beneficiaries.
The monthly salaries of scientists in government employment have been doubled and in some cases tripled, or substantially increased, according to a new salary structure issued by the Ministry of Public Service.
Our analysis of the 39-page document shows that an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), who is a scientist, is the biggest winner, earning an extra Shs9m per month to move the pay from Shs3.3m to Shs12.7m.
Majority AIGPs are currently serving military officers, the President having declined to renew contracts of career police officers, and we were able to only identify the Force’s Director for Health Services, Dr Moses Byaruhanga, as the likely recipient of the higher salary.
Other senior scientist police officers in line for raised pay include Commissioner Yusuf Ssewanyana, currently overseeing the ICT docket, and Superintendent of Police Andrew Mubiru, the acting Director for Forensics.
The circular announcing the pay increase shows that the duo, at their ranks and responsibility, will earn at least an extra Shs7m on their current Shs3m gross monthly salary.
Among top winners is the Director General of Health Services, Dr Henry Mwebesa, who earlier threatened to sack medical interns striking for improved remuneration and work condition.
His monthly salary has been revised upwards by Shs6.3m, levelling it at Shs15.3m, closer to the earning of permanent secretaries.
Dr Samuel Oledo Odong, the president of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), yesterday welcomed the salary enhancement, but asked the government to consider other health cadres left out.
Under the new salary structure, a commissioner, deputy and assistant are to get anywhere between Shs4m and Shs7m more a month.
Science teachers are also big winners. For instance, the monthly salary of a secondary school science teacher is up by Shs2.5 to Shs4.2m, while a junior will get Shs2.2m, up from between Shs795,000 and Shs858,000.
A laboratory technician at a secondary school will pocket Shs2.2m, an increase of about Shs1.5m, while an assistant is to earn Shs200,000 more, bringing their monthly pay to Shs550,000.
Our analysis shows that the monthly salary of a principal superintending a diploma-awarding science business or technical institution, or a teacher training college, will rise to Shs10m, higher by Shs7.1m. Sources within Public Service ministry said this is the biggest single pay adjustments for scientists in government jobs, creating a wide gap with their counterparts of humanities specialisation, in ways that Uganda National Teachers Union warned risked creating intra-profession conflict and demotivating the lowly paid.
Members of the umbrella organisation teaching arts subjects at secondary schools, as well as primary school teachers, last month went on strike for three weeks, demanding equity in the salary enhancement, but President Museveni this month sent them back to class empty-handed, promising their pay will go up when the government revenues improve. In the latest salary structure, whose delayed release the Public Service ministry said means public servants will at the earliest be paid on August 5, has seen monthly salaries of executive directors of national referral hospitals increase by Shs7m, that of directors of specialised health institutions by Shs6m, and directors of regional hospitals nearly doubled.
A senior consultant will now walk away with Shs13m a month, nearly double the previous Shs7.3m.
The remuneration enhancements, which take effect from July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, have been implemented in line with President Museveni’s orders to prioritise better pay for scientists to, as he argues, supercharge Uganda’s socio-economic transformation.
As a result, the public sector annual wage bill will increase by Shs509b over that for 2021/2022 financial year to almost Shs6 trillion, the Public Service ministry noted in the circular.
According to the circular, six categories of public officers will generally benefit from the phased salary enhancement strategy.
These include health professionals and tutors, scientists in mainstream public service, science teachers in post primary schools, laboratory technicians and assistants in post-primary schools, science lecturers/tutors in Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) institutions and legal professionals under the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The Minister of Public Service, Mr Muruuli Mukasa, and Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate, told Parliament on Tuesday that it is in their mid-term plan to enhance the salaries of arts teachers to make it at par with that of the science counterparts.
“At the end of the implementation of that plan, there will be no disparity; the disparity is brought about by current priorities and the strategic interventions,” Ms Bitarakwate said.
Experts and legislators have in the past asked the government to put in place a salary review commission to regularise the pay of all public servants, warning that selective enhancements risked polarising the government workforce, breeding animosity and repeated industrial actions.
Mr Wilson Owere, the chairman-general of the National Organisation of Trade Unions (Notu), told Monitor that as labour activists, they will continue to press for uniform remuneration for government employees with similar qualifications or doing similar work.
None of the humanities-leaning public servants received a shilling more.
Under the revised rates, a commissioner will earn Shs12m, district health officer (Shs6.5m), principal medical worker (Shs6m), while nursing theatre, laboratory, mortuary and dental assistants will each earn Shs590,000, nearly double the initial Shs300,000.
Under the Office of the DPP, the Deputy DPP bagged Shs7m more to earn Shs20m, while others from Assistant DPP to state prosecutor have received an average increase of Shs2m.
The salary enhancements
Senior Education Officer - Classroom Teacher (Science)-U3SC
Education Officer - Classroom Teacher (Science)- U4SC
Ass. Educ. Officer - Classroom Teacher (Science)-U5SC
Laboratory Technician (Secondary Schools) U5 (Science)
Laboratory Assistant Secondary Schools)- U7 (Upper)
Director General of Health Services Executive
Director, National Referral Hospital
Director Specialized Health Institute
Director Regional Referral Hospital
Deputy Director-NRII & Specialised Units
Assistant Director (Health)
District Health Officer
Assistant Commissioner- Nursing
Principal Medical Officer/Principal Dental
Surgeon and Medical Officer (Special Grade)
Assistant District Health Officer
Other Medical Personnel in U2
Senior Medical Officer/ Dental Surgeon/Pharmacist
Other Medical Personnel in U3
Medical Oficer/Dental Surgeon/Pharmacist U4 (Med-1)
Other Medical Personnel in U4
Medical Personnel in U5
Medical Personnel in U6
Medical Personnel in U7