10 May 2019

Uganda: No Money for Government Employees Pay Rise

Photo: The Observer
A teacher attends to learners at Bridge International Academy Katooke (file photo).

Parliament — Government employees will have to wait longer to achieve the much anticipated pay rise, after government failed to budget for salary enhancement.

Members of Parliament (MPs) on the House Committee of the Budget learnt yesterday, that whereas the government has made several commitments with the labour industry, the proposal for their pay rise is not funded.

The Budget Committee chaired by Ntenjeru North MP Amos Lugoloobi (NRM) was interfacing with its sister committees charged with Local Government and Public Service.

MP Godfrey Onzima (NRM, Aringa North), who chairs the Local Government and Public Service Committee told the Budget Committee that the salary increment requires Shs279b which is neither reflected in the sector's policy statement nor anywhere in the budget proposals.

"We recommend that government considers the 30 per cent enhancement of the approved five-year pay target which requires additional Shs279.2b inclusive of the requirement under the Administration of Justice Bill for reasons that the majority of the beneficiaries have hit the 25 per cent enhancements mark," Mr Onzima said.

He added: "The government must honour its original commitments to implement the enhanced salary structure as agreed over a period of five years to avoid unnecessary disruption of service delivery."

The government last year agreed to increase salaries of its employees, especially academic staff, traditional public servants, judicial officials, health workers, science cadres and local government political leaders, among others.

This was premised on the need to cater for a number of pay disparities within the civil service and inflation effect on the current pay levels that have not been enhanced for a long time.

The government asserted its commitment by signing a Collective Bargaining Agreement with labour unions, only to fail to allocate funds.

Mr Onzima said his committee had already received a number of petitions from workers' unions threatening industrial action effective July 1 should the government abandon the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But the Budget Committee insisted that the funds required are too high to be found within the budget proposals, and that the matter is beyond Parliament at the moment.

"This is a huge sum of money, if it comes at all, it has to come through a corrigendum, we shall highlight this as a commitment that remains unfunded," Mr Lugoloobi said.

A corrigendum is printed document (usually by government) containing corrections on grave mistakes earlier stated.

Pay rise for traditional leaders blocked

Meanwhile, the government through the Gender ministry had proposed to double traditional and cultural leaders' monthly pay to Shs10m.

A number of law makers including Butambala County MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, Cecia Ogwal (Dokolo MP), Justine Khainza (Bududa)and Richard Okoth Othieno (West Budama North) rejected the move, terming it as a mere waste of tax payers' money.

The lawmakers further argued that the money will attract more splits with smaller communities sprouting just to benefit from the kitty, something that is a threat to the existing social order.

Blocked salaries

Traditional leaders. Meanwhile, the government through the Gender ministry had proposed to double traditional and cultural leaders' monthly pay to Shs10m.

A number of law makers including Butambala County MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, Cecia Ogwal (Dokolo MP), Justine Khainza (Bududa)and Richard Okoth Othieno (West Budama North) rejected the move, terming it as a mere waste of tax payers' money.

The lawmakers further argued that the money will attract more splits with smaller communities sprouting just to benefit from the kitty, something that is a threat to the existing social order.

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