Uganda’s civil servants pay rise pushes wage bill to Ugx 4.6 trillion

Uganda's civil servants pay rise pushes wage bill to Ugx 4.6 trillion
Low ranking Soldiers, Police and Prisons staff will have their salaries enhanced in the next financial year

Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), Police and Prisons personnel are the biggest beneficiaries of the public servant salary increments, according to wage bill budget ceilings for the financial year 2018/19. The budget indicates increments for lecturers in public universities, doctors, state prosecutors and the judiciary.

The Ministry of Defence will receive 71 billion Shillings for salary enhancements, 50 billion Shillings will go to the Uganda Police Force and 10 billion Shillings will go towards the enhancement of salaries in Uganda Prisons Service.

The other beneficiaries of the increments are Mulago Hospital with an allocation of 10 billion Shillings and the 13 Regional Referral Hospitals which will collectively receive 25 billion Shillings for the same.

The details are listed in the revised wage, pension and gratuity estimate for the financial year 2018/19 circular issued by Kenneth Mugabe, the Director for Budgeting at the Ministry of Finance to all accounting officers.

The changes follow a series of strikes by teachers, university lecturers, medical workers and judicial officers, among others, in protest of poor pay and working conditions. Doctor’s, for instance, paralyzed business in the health sector for three weeks in November last year when they went on strike demanding salary increment.

During the same period, Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa announced that government would start enhancing salaries of public servants in a phased manner.

He said the first phase of the increment will cater for primary school teachers, secondary school science teachers, soldiers from the rank of private to sergeant, police staff from the rank of constable to sergeant, prison staff from rank of warder to sergeant, security officers at junior ranks, judiciary officers, health workers and all scientists in government ministries or departments.

The office of Director of Public Prosecution has also been allocated 1.4 billion Shillings for salary enhancement of state prosecutors who equally laid down their tools last year in the quest for salary increment.

The Judiciary has equally been allocated 1.5 billion Shillings for salary increment which will go towards enhancing salaries of judges and other judicial officers.

Makerere University has been allocated 18 billion Shillings for salary enhancement, Mbarara University 2.6 billion Shillings, Makerere University Business School 1.5 billion Shillings, Kyambogo University 4.1 billion Shillings, Kabale University 1.2 Shillings, Busitema University 2.2 billion Shillings, Gulu University 2.3 billion Shillings, Soroti University 420 million Shillings, Lira University 842 million Shillings and Muni University 589 million Shillings.

The university teaching and non-teaching staff have been receiving salary enhancement since 2015/16 financial year.

Other beneficiaries in the salary increment include Uganda Blood Transfusion Services allocated 1.1 billion Shillings, Kampala Capital City Authority 8 billion Shillings, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development 1.9 billion Shillings, Ministry of Works and Transport 2.6 billion Shillings, State House 1.4 billion Shillings, Butabika Hospital 1.6 billion Shillings, among others.

Mugambe said the revised enhancement estimates are strictly for current public servants in posts and not for recruitment of new staff. He further asked accounting officers to make corresponding adjustments in salaries of their staff.

“The purpose of this letter is to communicate the revised salaries, pension and gratuity ceilings. You are therefore requested to make corresponding adjustments accordingly and submit your detailed budget estimates for the financial year 2018/19 by Friday 23, 2018 to facilitate consolidation and submission of the National Budget to Parliament by 27th March 2018 for appropriation,” Mugambe stated in the letter.

He further requested Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service to issue a new salary structure for by 31st March 2018 to assist parliament during approval of the budget.

Impact

In addition to salary enhancement, 26 billion Shillings has been earmarked for gratuity increase and 2.1 billion Shillings for pension enhancement.

The salary enhancement will cost 249 billion Shillings for central government wage bill. The central government wage will increase 1.9 trillion Shillings that had been estimated before factoring in the enhancement to 2.1 trillion Shillings while local government is estimated to cost 2.0 trillion Shillings.

The total wage bill is estimated to rise from 3.36 trillion Shillings of the 2017/18 financial year to 4.66 trillion in the 2018/19 financial year.

URN