Striking workers risk being fired, says minister Muruli-Mukasa

Public Service minister Muruli-Mukasa has warned civil servants against protests over pay. File photo.

By Mary Kisakye

KAMPALA–Government has warned public servants against endless protests over salary raise and advised them to resign if they are dissatisfied with their current pay.

Public Service minister Wilson Muruli-Mukasa issued this warning on Friday while responding to striking prosecutors who resumed their strike over pay on Monday following the expiry of the 90-day ultimatum they gave government to increase their pay.

State prosecutors under their umbrella body, Uganda Association of Prosecutors (UAP) want the minimum salary of the lowest ranking prosecutor increased from Shs645,000 to at least Shs9 million per month.

They consequently laid down their tools in July and government through Justice minister Maj. Gen Kahinda Otafiire promised to address their grievances in three-months, a promise that government has failed to honour, triggering off a resumption of the strike.

Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala this morning, Mr Muruli-Mukasa said the government is working towards harmonising salaries and emoluments of all civil and public servants by the end of November and would come into effect in financial year 2018/19.

He said any civil servant who refuses to work over poor pay or absconds from duty would invoke the wrath of the government.

The minister said although it is not the interest of the government to sack any civil servant, it would invoke provisions of the public service standing orders to deal with striking civil servants who would refuse to work.

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

Muruli Mukasa said government felt it necessary to enhance pay of civil and public servants across the board and not just a few individuals.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Finance David Bahati decried the salary disparities, arguing that drivers in some agencies earn more than permanent secretaries, a trend he said is unacceptable.

He said the new salary structure will address issues like inflation, rising cost of living, qualifications and experience, which will feed into the gross and take home salary.



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