MPs consent to harmonise salary enhancement for public officers

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MPs consent to harmonise salary enhancement for public officers
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Kampala, Uganda: Legislators have resolved that government presents to Parliament, a sustainable salary enhancement plan for all categories of public officers with clear budgetary indications and timelines for implementation.

This was contained in a motion passed during the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 07 July 2022, urging the government to harmonise and enhance the remuneration of public officers,

The MPs urged the government to commence the implementation of the approved salary enhancement of the arts teachers and primary teachers progressively.

The motion that was presented by the Chairperson of the Committee on Education and Sports, Hon. John Ntamuhiira, the government was further urged to implement the salary enhancement plan of public officers in line with Article 40 (1) (b) of the 1995 Constitution.

“Parliament urges government to ensure continuous engagements with public service unions through negotiations, consultations and participation in accordance with Public Service (Negotiating, Consultative and Disputes Settlement Machinery) Act, 2008 during the implementation of the approved salary enhancement plan,” read the motion in part.

While seconding the motion, Aringa North County MP and also Chairperson of the Committee on Public Service and Local Government, Hon. Godfrey Onzima said that in 2017, the government entered into an agreement to enhance the salaries of all public officers in a phased manner, from 2018 to 2023.

“The initial agreement when it was tabled in the Committee of Public Service and Local Government was that this enhancement would be financed through funds that would be realised after rationalisation of government agencies but along the way, the element of rationalisation has not taken place,” said Onzima.

He added that the salary enhancement was also affected by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

“We feel that the initial plan of government to enhance these salaries for all the public servants might not be implemented in the way that it was planned. We, therefore, thought that it would be important for the government to come up with a comprehensive plan,” said Onzima.

He added: “Whether the current situation as it is will be sustainable is still questionable. So we expect that government must come up with a realistic plan that can be implemented and that cannot put the government under pressure.”

Ndorwa County East MP, Hon. Wilfred Niwagaba, however, called for an amendment to the motion to order accounting officers to ensure that in implementing the Appropriation Act, there is non-discrimination, particularly when it comes to the payment of salaries of teachers.

“When we passed that Appropriation Act, we never included anything to do with discriminatory payment,” Niwagaba said.

The motion was moved following a debate on Wednesday, 06 July 2022, in which MPs unanimously disagreed with the recent decision to increase salaries of teachers of science subjects, a move which led to industrial action by the teachers of arts subjects.

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