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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

NEW SALARY STRUCTURE: Here is Why it Might End in Tears for Government Employees Hoping to Get Salary Increment in Next Financial Year Starting in July 2022

As the clock ticks to March 31, the deadline for finance minister Matia Kasaija to present the proposed budget estimates for the FY2022-2023 on behalf of President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, the issue of salary increment for civil servants remains high on the agenda, at least for government employees, and their employer. 

According to Section 13(3) of the Public Finance Management states, “the Minister shall, on behalf of the President, present the proposed annual budget of a financial year to Parliament, by the 1st of April of the preceding financial year.”

During Tuesday’s plenary, deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa reminded the finance ministry of this deadline.

This deadline and other budget processes carry with them hopes of Ugandan government employees, yet by a strong of a pen, these hopes might just turn into broken promises, and tears.

THE SALARY INCREMENT PUZZLE

As we reported recently, 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).

Uganda has just emerged from two years of partial lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic.

In the national budget framework paper for FY2022-23 — 2026-27, finance minister Matia Kasaija had proposed halting of salary enhancements until the economy had recovered.

Then, Kasaija said Shs1.9tn for enhancement of salaries, wages and gratuity for scientists, UPDF and integration of LDUs into the UPDF, something that would raise the total wage bill from Shs5.5tn to Shs7.4tn.

“We have a demand of Ushs. 1,900 Billion for the enhancement of salaries, wages and gratuity for scientists, Uganda Peoples’ Defences Forces (UPDF) and integration of the Local Defence Units (LDUs) into the UPDF. This will raise our total wage bill from Ushs. 5,533 Billion to Ushs. 7,433 Billion next financial year,” reads the budget framework paper in part.

The framework paper also acknowledges the advice of Presidential Advisory Committee on the Budget on establishing a clear roadmap for the enhancement of salaries.

“The Presidential Advisory Committee on the Budget also observed that the Government made a commitment to enhancing salaries of public servants by 50% starting FY2015/16 over the next three financial years. However, to date, only 30% increment to some categories like Permanent Secretaries, health workers and scientists has been implemented,” the paper further read. “The Committee, therefore, recommended
that the Government develops a road map for the implementation of
this commitment.”

The finance ministry seems to agree with the president’s view that scientists be given the first priority when it comes to salary enhancement.

Against this background, Government is developing a proposal for enhancing all cadres in Government beginning with health workers and other scientists,” the ministry concludes on this matter in the budget framework paper.

Recent reports seemed to confirm that only scientists would get a pay raise in the next financial year.

Up to Shs400bn — instead of the Shs1.9tn needed for all civil servants’ salary increment — has reportedly been set aside for this purpose.

But Kasaija recently said the money for increasing teachers’, doctors’ and other civil servants’ salaries was available. (Read Story Here).

In the coming days and weeks, the question of who will get how much salary increment starting July 2022 will become clearer, especially as the budget process takes shape.

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