All is not well at the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) after staff wrote an open letter to Managing Director Eng Dr Silver Mugisha, complaining about ‘unfair salary scales.’
In an email copied to several members of the NWSC top management, concerned staff say that they are “sick and tired of your corrupt leadership in this corporation and this is the time to rise up as workers and expose your disgusting corrupt ways when it comes to appointments, confirmation and awarding salary scales in this corporation.”
They are demanding that the corporation puts in place “a standard scale policy where each and every position has a set salary scale” as opposed to the current one which they say is unfair and has made them bitter.
“How can a Manager be at Scale 5 yet he/she is supervising a principal commercial officer at Scale 2? How can a Manager be at scale 4 and he/she has a commercial officer at scale 3? How can a Commercial Officer be at scale 5 and he/ she is supervising a CA that has scale 4? How can a CA with a degree be on scale 7 and he /she is supervising a senior four plumber who is on the same scale like the supervisor?” the employees asked in their complaint to management.
“Are you people so foolish not to realise the anger and bitterness you are breeding amongst us the workers on a daily basis? Or you people think we are so stupid and blind that we don’t know what’s happening in this Corporation.”
They further argued that it was not difficult to set a standard salary structure for every position and to create uniform, and that management should not give excuses.
“Let every position have a standard salary scale because these positions come with the same duties and responsibilities. So if two staffs have the same position and the same duties and responsibilities why should one be on scale 5 and another on scale 3?” they wondered.
They also complained about new staff being quickly promoted and placed on higher salary scales.
“The last time we complained about these salary scales you came out with your stupidity and claimed that the scales are different because some workers have worked for [more] years. Do you think we are stupid not to see the new staffs who come in and they are given high scales yet they have no experience in NWSC work,” they further wrote.
“Our eyes are wide open and we see everything. And we are saying enough is enough. We are going to rise up and become defiant until you align these salary scales.”
These aggrieved staff have now vowed not to rest until this matter has been addressed. They also said they have embarked on an exercise to compile a detailed report on how people in similar positions belong to different salary scales.
“We want to use this report of the different unfair scales in NWSC to [lodge] a complaint to Ministry of Labour and also spread it on social media so that the whole world can know what exactly is happening in national water,” they wrote in their petition.
But according to a statement attributed to NWSC, the corporation has insisted that there is nothing wrong with its salary structure.
“We have some new staff that join the corporation and quickly feel a sense of entitlement to promotion, without due consideration of the effort inputs and performance results,” noted the water utility, adding that such behavior was “unacceptable” since “NWSC survival and sustainability depends on strong results-orientation.”
NWSC has also insisted that “all salary scale adjustments are based on prior performance appraisals and exceptional performance.”