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Prioritize salary increment not elections- Workers Union tells Finance Ministry

FILE PHOTO: Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The Uganda Government and Allied Workers Union, has asked government to focus on improving the salaries of civil servants other focusing on elections.

This comes a week after the Finance Ministry, said government will not be in position to meet salary enhancement requirements for public servants in the 2020/21 financial year due funding shortfalls despite its earlier commitment.

The Finance Ministry, Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi said government has several funding requirements including the 2021 general elections, which he said requires an additional shillings 704.6 billion.

However, Benon Matwire, the Secretary Uganda Government and Allied Workers Union, says Muhakanizi has a negative attitude towards salary increment and that is why he is saying they have other funding requirements like elections.

He says government needs to prioritise salary increment for civil servants as opposed to election, saying failure to do so could prompt undesirable actions and consequences.

Matwire says workers are an important element of development. He say Uganda cannot talk about development yet pay less attention to the people that do the work that is intended to develop the county.

Christopher Kahirita, the chairman of the Union, says civil servants are the backbone of government business and if they were to lay down tools, business would be at a standstill.

He wonders how government says it has no funds yet it continues creating more administration units like constituencies.

Last week, the Local Government Minister, Tom Butime presented to parliament a proposal to alter boundaries to creating more than 20 constituencies in the newly created cities and municipalities across the country.

Kahirita also says government should consider increasing salaries for all categories of civil servants and do it without discrimination.

He says for instance science teachers should be paid the same as their arts counterparts, adding that if there is need for extra payment to the science teachers, a special allowance be introduced.

“For instance a science allowance could be introduced just like government had the hard to reach areas allowances for people who were working in remote hard to reach areas,” suggested Kihirita.

He argues that the difference in salary increment affects workers even at gratuity level.  This is because those with a higher salary will be subject to higher gratuity yet both were doing the same job like teaching.



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