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Uganda gov’t gives civil servants ultimatum on strike

BY Tom Mugisha,

KAMPALA –  Uganda’s Public service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa has told civil servants to resign if they want to go on strike.

The minister who was responding to the demands by striking prosecutors, threats by medics and Makerere University academics to go on strike, said if a public servant goes on strike and spends thirty days without going to office, they will be sacked.

“There are standing orders, if one is away or absent from duty for 30 days, then he is declared absent and then the other aspects of the law will take course” Muruli said.

State prosecutors under their umbrella body, Uganda Association of Prosecutors (UAP), resumed the strike on Monday after the lapse of the 90-day ultimatum they had given government to address their grievances.

They are demanding that the minimum salary of the lower ranking officials in the judiciary be raised to at least Shs9 million. Currently, the lowest ranking State Prosecutor earns a gross salary of Shs645, 000.

Government had committed to increase salaries of state prosecutors after July strike.

However, the pledges were not fulfilled, which has triggered another round of industrial action.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire said government is coming out with harmonized and rationalized salaries and emoluments of civil and public servants by the end of November and would come into effect in financial year 2018/19.

He appealed to the striking prosecutors to resume work since the matter is under review.

State Minister of Finance David Bahati said that there are lots of distortions in public service pay, with drivers in some agencies earning more than permanent secretaries, saying that the trend is unsustainable.

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