27 March 2018

Uganda: Doctors, Teachers and DPP Get Big Pay Raise

Kampala — Medical workers, prosecutors and science teachers are the biggest beneficiaries of the new enhanced salary structure for public servants.

According to the salary review documents which Public Service submitted to the Finance ministry for adoption, police, prisons officers and soldiers have also seen their salaries increased in the new structure approved by Cabinet.

The documents seen by Daily Monitor indicate that under the new salary structure, the Director General of Health Services will earn Shs5.4m per month, up from Shs.4.7m.

Directors for national referral hospitals will earn Shs5.1m each, while the 16 directors of regional referral hospitals will get Shs4.8m each, up from Shs3.6m.

Sixty-one senior consultants and 97 consultants will earn Shs4.5m and Shs.4.2m respectively, an increment from the current Shs3.5m and Shs2.6m respectively.

A total of 312 medical officers of special grades and 72 principal medical officers will earn Shs3.75m per month, up from Shs2m currently while 175 senior medical officers will earn Shs3.3m which has been raised from Shs1.3m.

Another category of 3,000 medical officers will earn Shs3m each, up from Shs1.2m a month.

Other categories of medics totalling 30,894 whose salary scales fall below the level of medical officers will earn Shs1.2m being the highest pay in their grade and Shs613,158 for midwives being the lowest.

The documents show that 39 directors, who are scientists other than the medical officers, will now earn Shs.3.7m, followed by 31 deputy directors at Shs.3.5m, 73 commissioners at Shs.3.3m and 322 assistant commissioners at Shs3.1m.

The lowest in this category is science officials who will walk away with Shs2.5m, up from the current Shs1.1m.

Science teachers in U4 salary scale have seen their earnings almost doubled from the current Shs1.1m to Shs2m while those under U5 scale will be paid Shs1.75m, up from Shs625,000.

Salaries of head teachers, their deputies and principals have been increased from between the current range of Shs900,000 and Shs1.7m to Shs1.1m for tertiary institutions and Shs2.2m for principals in national colleges.

DPP's office

The staff from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions will also smile all the way to the bank with the chief registrar director and registrar earning Shs5.27m while Deputy DPP and Administrator General will both earn Shs.4.5m.

Chief magistrates' pay has been increased to Shs3.8m, up from Shs2.9m currently.

Other judicial officers ranging from State prosecutors to senior principal magistrates will earn between Shs850,000 and Shs2.9m.

District chairpersons, municipal mayors and sub-county chairpersons will earn Shs2.4m, Shs.1.2m and Shs357,000, up from Shs2.1m, Shs.1.1m and Shs312,000 respectively.

The last categories have seen very minimal pay-rise compared to their Public Service counterparts.

In a March 20, 2018 circular, the Director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Kenneth Mugambe, instructed all accounting officers to recognise the salary changes in their pay structure and resubmit their final call for budget with the new figures.

"You are therefore requested to make corresponding adjustments accordingly and submit your detailed budget estimates for the FY 2018/2019 by Friday March 23, 2018 to facilitate consolidation and submission of the national budget to Parliament by March 27, 2018 for appropriation," the letter reads in part.

Amounts by department

The Ministry of Defence is the biggest beneficiary of the salary enhancement with about Shs72 billion of wage bill, followed by Uganda Police at Shs50 billion.

Makerere University comes third with Shs18 billion after the enhancement.

A total of 70 government departments, agencies and foreign embassies did not benefit from the salary enhancement for their staff while 39 districts, who lacked eligible staff, were also left out.

While other government agencies and departments have their salary figures broken down according to the scale, the Uganda People's Defence Forces salary increment was given in a block figure.

The beneficiaries are soldiers of the lower ranks, staff sergeants, sergeants, corporals, lance corporals and privates, but there is no indication how much each of the aforementioned soldiers will earn in the enhanced salary structure.

When asked why there is no breakdown for the soldiers' salary increments, the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire said: "That will be worked on later and you will be informed. What is good news for us is that we have got the enhancement and we thank government for that. We accept what they have given to us, considering the current economic situation of the country."

Trade unions react

Workers under the National Organisation of Trade Unions have protested the salary increment, saying it doesn't reflect what they had presented to government.

"We had an agreement with the government and what they have presented doesn't reflect that. We have rejected this increment and will continue with what we had planned," Mr Wilson Owere, the president general of the union, said. When asked what the next plan is, Mr Owere added: "We shall go on strike if the government goes ahead to ignore our demands and present this salary structure. It has not catered for our demands."

He warned that government is taking a dangerous path by ignoring calls from the trade unions. NOTU had demanded 100 per cent pay-rise for all civil servants, a position the government rejected.

Public Service responds

The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Public Service, Ms Catherine Musingwiire, has however, downplayed the NOTU threats.

She said the issues would be addressed. Ms Musingwiire said government's plan is to increase salaries of civil servants in phases.

"We had said the salaries will be in phases and we have just started with phase one. They should be patient because we shall continue to increase the salaries until all the civil servants benefit," she said.

On why some districts, government agencies and foreign embassies did not get salary enhancements, Ms Musingwiire said the districts may not have science teachers and health centres.

She, however, said it would need a deeper analysis to find out why they have missed out.

With the salary enhancement figures out, the stage is set for the stakeholders to state their positions and demands.

The NOTU had earlier given government up to end of next month to act on salary increments or they take industrial action, a position they still maintain.

Proposals of salary review commission

Different view. The new salary structure seems to have ignored the recommendations which the government's Salary Review Commission presented late last year. According to the earlier proposal by the commission, the consultants were recommended to earn Shs12m per month, which would be 350 per cent increment.

Proposals. Senior consultants were to earn Shs14.6m; directors under U1SE salary scale would enjoy a 290 per cent salary raise from Shs2.9m to Shs11.4m.

The Director General of Health Services was recommended to earn Shs15.5m slightly above the pay for Permanent Secretaries. The Directorate of Public Prosecutions, according to the Salary Review Commission's proposal, would earn Shs21m a month, up from Shs9m. The deputy would earn 15m, up from Shs4.8m.

Judicial officers. Under the proposals, senior principal state attorneys' salaries would have been increased from Shs1.5m to Shs4.1m. The State prosecutors, under U5 salary scale, would earn Shs2.8m as opposed to Shs860, 000, currently. The Chief Registrar of Court in the proposed salary structure would earn Shs16.9m, up from Shs4.8m currently.

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