Striking nurses, midwives and other health workers who refuse to return to work by Monday, May 30, will lose their jobs, Public Service Minister Muruli Mukasa has warned.
On May 27, Minister Muruli Mukasa and, Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, spoke about the issue of strikes meant to push for salary increment at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.
According to Muruli Mukasa, the strike is illegal, and nurses as well as midwives have to choose between their jobs and the industrial action which he said was contrary to public service laws, rules and guidelines, particularly section 8(a)and (b) of Public Service Negotiation, Consultative and Dispute Settlement Machinery Act, 2008, which requires that employees who want to declare a strike should issue a three-month notice after they have exhausted all avenues of conciliation, arbitration and settlement of disputes with their employers.
“In this regard, government is calling all Allied Professional Health Workers, Nurses and Midwives to report to duty by Monday 30th May, 2022. By failing to do so, they will be considered to have abandoned duty and resigned accordingly,” Muruli Mukasa, who is also the Acting Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, said in a May 27 statement.
“You are directed to report back to your workplaces not later than Monday May 30, 2022. Otherwise, we shall consider you to have left work and as such, one that no longer needs the job.”
He also ordered Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and directors of hospitals to declare positions of health workers who refuse to come to work vacant so that government can fill them by hiring people willing to work.
The minister insisted that there was goodwill on the side of government to enhance health workers’ salaries and that money for this purpose had been included in the FY2022-23 national budget.
Allied Health Professionals started their industrial action on May 16 while nurses and midwives, under their umbrella body, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU), began their strike on Thursday, May 26. Nurses and midwives want a graduate to be paid Shs4.8m per month. (Read Story Here).