Local Government workers under their umbrella body, the Uganda Local Government Workers’ Union have threatened to lay down tools over salary increment for public servants.
The Ministry of Public Service recently revealed that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, floods and landslides, government had decided to push the planned pay rise for civil servants to 2023 and that only public university academic staff will get a salary increment in the coming year 2020/2021.
However, in a statement released through their union General Secretary, Hassan Lwabayi Mudiba, the local government workers say that following the conclusion of the Collecting Bargaining Agreement in 2018 between them and government, it was agreed due to inadequate resources, implementation of salary increment be done in a phased manner.
They say that for the second phase in the financial year 2019/20, only shs62 billion was allocated for salary increment and it went to the education sector and health-sector leaving out non-science public officers and local government workers.
“Surprisingly, again government has come out with a position that only Shs50 billion has been secured for salary enhancement in financial year 2020/21 and it has already been earmarked for public universities,”Lwabayi said.
“ As if that is not bad enough, government stated that even in the financial year 2021/22 only scientists, teachers and health workers will be enhanced in the following year 2021/22 while Local Government workers who are the least paid have been pushed to 2023 but also without guarantee.”
The Local Government workers’ union General Secretary said whereas government has exhibited good will through ratifying of the International Labour Organisation Convention and laws that have guaranteed public servants’ rights, the sectoral framework and administrative framework have continued to operate without regard to the principles governing collective bargaining.
“It has been observed that government is using a selective criterion which facilitates victimization, discrimination and favoritism in choosing categories of public servants to be paid in total disregard in what was agreed during our negotiations,”Lwabayi said.
He adds that it is unfortunate that government is victimizing and discriminating non-science public officers in the public service.
The Local Government workers have asked government to secure shs427 billion to cater for their salary enhancement in the financial year 2020/21 but also drop the idea of pushing their salary increment to 2023.
According to their union’s General Secretary, there should be an urgent meeting their leadership and Ministries of Public Service, Local Government, Finance and Attorney General to sort the impasse within two weeks .
“The Statutory Notice for industrial action given to government to compel it to address salary enhancement for Local Government Workers effective September,8 2020 still stands and no another notice will be given again,”Lwabayi said.
“Should government ignore this advice, ULGWU together with its leadership and entire membership will not be held liable for any eventuality that may arise before, during and after the industrial action since all our efforts to resolve this issue amicably have not been positively attended to please stand advised.”
Addressing journalists last week, the Ministry of Public Service Permanent Secretary, Catherine Bitarakwate, said whereas government is ready to enhance pay for all its 319,000 servants to a tune of shs350 billion, they have only got shs50 billion that will go to academic staff in public universities.