Scientists, including science teachers, who have been hoping for huge salary increments starting July 2022 could be in for a rude shock after it emerged that government cut the money that government had promised to set aside to enhance their pay in the next financial year.
A day after science teachers began their strike demanding for salary increment on May 09, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the minister of ICT and National Guidance, addressed a press conference assuring all scientists that government will enhance their salaries starting July. Dr Baryomunsi also revealed that about Shs735bn would be appropriated for salary increment.
“The taxes you and I pay will be used to enhance the salaries for scientists. The commitment document for this pledge is the national budget for the financial year 2022/2023, which commences on July 1. About Shs735b is required. Figures are being worked out,” the minister said.
But last week, Public Service Ministry Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwire confirmed that only Shs495bn has been set aside for the increment of salaries. This means a Shs95bn increment from the Shs400bn that had earlier been secured for the enhancement of salaries of health workers.
It should be remembered that even when they called off their strike on May 19 after meetings with officials from the Ministry of Public Service, science teachers’ leaders were handed a commitment letter that did not indicate the amount by which their salaries would be increased.
But now, with reports that the increment might be somewhere between 40 and 70 per cent, it is dawning on them that the deal might have already gone wrong and might not be as juicier as they had earlier anticipated.
According to Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union (Upstu) national chairperson Vincent Elong, the science teachers might have to settle for what is available while insisting on equity and harmonization to the scale of other scientists.
“It’s now very clear, Ugx495bn instead of Ugx735bn [has been] earmarked for salary enhancement of all scientists i.e. 67.35% of the pay target as per the presidential directive and cabinet resolutions,” tweeted Elong.
“Scientists in the education institutions are demanding for the equity and harmonization.”
Last week, Public Service Minister Muruli Mukasa was quoted as swearing that he will resign and have his right hand cut off if President Museveni’s government does not increase salaries of all scientists, including science teachers, starting July 2022. (Read Story Here).
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MORE ON SALARY INCREMENT CIRCUS
In order to improve service delivery and end the challenge of strikes over low pay, President Museveni’s government has proposed huge salary increments for teachers, doctors and other employees starting July 2022. (Read Story Here)
The proposed increments have left many people wondering if government will really fulfill this pledge and increase salaries by very high amounts.
For example, opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has argued that the promise of salary increment is just ‘another lie.’ (Read Story Here).
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija recently said the money for increasing teachers’, doctors’ and other civil servants’ salaries was available. (Read Story Here).
In August 2021, cabinet approved salary increment for teachers, doctors and other health workers. (Read Story Here).
See the salary structure that had been proposed for the current financial year here.
Meanwhile, an NRM MP has angered teachers after telling them they are too poor to go on strike. (Read Story Here).