By Jane Nafula
The new payment system for Local Government workers has caused anger among workers whose salaries were cut in the process of rolling out the system.
While addressing the press last evening in Kampala, the leaders of the Uganda Local Government Workers Union (ULGWU), demanded that the underpayment in the pilot districts be rectified and the arrears cleared immediately.
The new payment system being pilot ed in selected districts across the country is dubbed “Human Capital Management System.”
“We demand that an order for payment of salary arrears to all affected members of the union whose salaries were reduced without administrative due process and all those who are be- ing paid a lower scale contrary to ap- pointment letters be issued to that effect,” Mr Hassan Mudiba Lwabayi , the ULGWU’s general secretary, said.
He added: “The newly introduced Human Capital Management System has illegally and unlawfully reduced salaries of cold chain officers and their assistants by placing them under administration, in spite of them being under the district health officers on appointment. The said system has also illegally and unlawful taken away remuneration of statisticians.”
Mr Mudiba said automated systems introduced by government should be designed in a way that respects laws, other than being a disservice to the people it is meant to serve. Further,he said the union was considering legal action, demanding that judicial investigations be done on why their money is being cut without any
For example, cold chain technicians earn an equivalent of Shs2.2m under U5 per month but under the new pay- ment system,they are being paid on the scale of U6 Upper, which is equivalent of Shs1.5m, according to Mr Mudiba.
The other example he gave was that of cold chain assistants appointed un- der salary scale of U7, who are supposed to earn a gross of Shs1.4m per month with a net pay of about Shs1m but in the new payment system, this category is now earning Shs268, 143.
Mr Ivan Nalungu, the Kumi District cold chain technician, said: “It is so hurting for someone to earn Shs430,000.” He said this is against public service standing order, which states that any cold chain technician who enters government payroll with a diploma should be on a salary scale of U5.
Mr Joseph Kakande Kiwanuka, the senior planner in Mubende District, also revealed that some planners were holding appointments for scientist but were being paid salary of nonscientists.
Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Public Service were futile as some of the known officials’ phone numbers were not available. However, Mr Adam Bukenya, the Undersecretary in the Public Service ministry, said he could not comment on the matter but advised that the information will be provided by authorised people.