The Coronavirus pandemic, floods and landslides have forced the government to push the planned pay rise for civil servants to 2023.
Authorities in Public Service docket revealed that only public universities’ academic staff will get salary increments in the forthcoming financial year 2020/2021.
Ms Catherine Bitarakwate, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, yesterday told journalists in Kampala that they needed Shs350b for the salary increment of all public servants. There are 319,000 civil servants in the country.
“Government is ready to increase the pay for its servants but this will be in phased manner. It is going to release only Shs50b in the 2020/2021 Budget for pay rise and all this will go to staff in public universities. Other public servants will get theirs in 2022 and 2023, so they should be patient,” she said.
100 percent rise
Ms Bitarakwate said academic professors and associate professors would get 100 percent increment while other lecturers will get theirs in phases.
She added that other servants, including teachers, scientists, and health workers will get their pay rise in 2022 and the administrative staff in 2023.
The permanent secretary said the administrative staff includes undersecretaries, chief administrative officers, accountants, secretaries, drivers and office attendants.
However, lecturers had wanted the government to distribute the Shs50b among all academic staff equally.
The Minister of Public Service, Mr Muruli Mukasa, said there was no money to increase salaries of all staff in public universities by 100 percent.
“We decided to increase the salaries of our professors to retain them in the country because their colleagues in the [East African] region are getting more. Other lecturers should wait for their share,” Mr Mukasa said. He said lecturers should be grateful because their salaries had tremendously been increased.
“It is their right to strike but at the moment, we do not have enough money to increase their salaries at once. We have other problems such as Covid-19, floods and landslide that have destroyed property,” Mr Mukasa said.
The minister also revealed that since 2016, the public sector wage has grown from Shs2.8 trillion to about Shs5 trillion in 2019/2020, an indication that it has increased the wage bill by Shs2 trillion.
Mr Mukasa also said the new pension schemes that will require all public servants to contribute 5 percent and government 10 percent towards the fund will be ready next year.
He said once enacted into law, it will address government, sustainably and equity problems associated with the current unfunded fund.