NOTU calls off planned strike by public servants

NOTU calls off planned strike by public servants
Christopher Werikhe, the NOTU Secretary General

The National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) has called off a planned strike by public servants which was due to start tomorrow, June 24th. NOTU had earlier in March 2018 issued a 90 days ultimatum to the government, to adjust the salary structures of all public servants.

The ultimatum was in response to the selective pay rise of civil servants salaries in line with a pronouncement made by the Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi. NOTU then described the proposed enhancement as discriminative since it left out other workers, most especially those working with local governments.

But Christopher Werikhe, the NOTU Secretary-General told journalists in Kampala today that the organisation together with its seven affiliated public service unions had signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the government putting all salary enhancement demands to rest.

He said that the agreement will see eight categories of public servants benefit from the salary enhancement starting in the coming financial year 2018/2019.

According to the agreement, 536 billion Shillings will be allocated in the 2018/2019 financial year budget to cater for the first beneficiaries including Medical Workers, other Scientists, Prosecutors, Post Primary Teachers, Police, Prisons and UPDF in Lower Ranks, Local Government Political Leaders and Staff of Public Universities.

The second phase of salary enhancement in the financial year 2019/2020 shall cater for other Public Officers including Local Government Workers and Primary School Teachers, Non-science Public Officers in Ministries, Departments, Police and Prisons in higher ranks, Head Teachers and their Deputies and Security Organisation employees in higher ranks.

“This shall be in accordance with the agreed targets of the Agreement in order to bring them at par with the Public Officers covered under Phase one.” Reads part of the agreement.

In the enhancement spread out over a period of five years to cover all Public Officers, Werikhe said that they expect that Police Constables, Prison warders, Primary Teachers, Drivers, Nursing Assistants will be earning not less than One Million Shillings by financial year of 2021/2022.

He further clarified that the agreed upon enhancements do not include allowances that the staff have been earning before. He said that NOTU is to also bargain for allowances separately.

Sanya Aggrey, the General Secretary of Uganda Medical Workers Union (UMWU) also appealed to the health workers across the country to keep calm and maintain professionalism with an agreement signed with the government.

Justus Cherop, the President of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union appreciated the government’s commitment to enhancing salaries of public servants. He also emphasized the issue of allowances saying that these are not part of the salary enhancements and that these are to be harmonized separately.

The agreement was signed by The Uganda Medical Workers Union (UMWU), Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU), Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), National Union of Educational Institution (NUEI), Uganda Government and Allied Workers’ Union (UGAWU), Uganda Local Government Workers’ Union and National Union of Government Workers Union. The Head of Public Dr John Mitala signed on behalf of the government.