In one of the biggest pay increments in recent times, President Museveni has given significant salary boost for science lecturers, doctors and other scientists.
In a September 30 letter addressed to Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng and copied to Public Service minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa and others, the President directed that the salaries for scientists be moved to the “desired levels”.
He, however, advised the non-academic and non-technical staff, who for years had a longstanding outcry for salary enhancement, to wait until such a time when the country is able to increase their pay.
Referring to an agreed government position, the President directed Mr Mukasa to conclude the issue of pay to government scientists and university teachers.
The Presidents wants a professor to earn Shs15m per month; senior consultants (medical) Shs17m; university lecturer Shs12.2m; director-science Shs16m; doctor Shs5m and scientist Shs3.5m.
Other undisclosed categories and number of medical workers, government scientists and academicians will also benefit from the pay rise.
By last evening, it was however, not yet clear exactly when the beneficiaries will start receiving the new salaries.
Asked whether the money for salary enhancement was put in the 2019/2020 budget, Mr Jim Mugunga, the Ministry of Finance spokesperson, said: “I am not privy to the letter. However, when an executive directive is given, the relevant ministries work with us [Finance] to implement the directive, and that may take various forms of identifying the required funds to implement the presidential detective.”
Besides the Shs150b in the 2019/2020 budget earmarked for salary enhancement for lecturers and teachers, by last evening, it was not clear how much will be required to effect the new presidential directive.
In the past, Opposition leaders have complained that unplanned supplementary expenditures distort budget priorities as government cuts funds from planned activities to finance unforeseen or foreseen ‘emergencies”.
But in his directive, the President made it clear that the pay rise should not be mixed with the pay for the non-academic and non-technical personnel.
“The latter will be [handled] later, when we are able,” the President’s one-page letter reads in part.
Although Uganda Medical Association president, Dr Ekwaro Obuku, last evening called the President’s directive “an important gesture”, the decision to leave out the non-technical government workers, infuriated non-teaching staff and others who did not expect the President to fix the current salary disparities using what they called “a piecemeal approach.”
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