by Kevin
Hon. Muruli Mukasa – Minister of Public Service officially launching the Report as the Chairperson and Members of the Commission watch

ollowing a study on salary disparities in the public service, the EOC launched and disseminated its study report on salary disparities in the Public Sector, on 31st May 2017. At the event, Hon. Muruli Mukasa – Minister of Public Service commended the Commission for its commitment in eliminating discrimination and marginalization in society. He pledged the Ministry would consider the recommendations made by the Commission especially the establishment of a Salary Review Commission to determine equitable remuneration for Public servants and harmonization of the various salary structures across the Public Service.

Mrs. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi – the Commission Chairperson echoed the Commission’s commitment in advocating for equal treatment in remuneration as a prerequisite for inclusive growth, socio-economic transformation and sustainable development. It is against this that the EOC conducted the study to ascertain the magnitude of salary disparities, modalities of salary determination and associated implications of the disparities on service delivery. Mrs. Ntambi further noted the upward revision of salaries of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Permanent Secretaries which was unfortunately not done for lower cadre staff. “The revisions did not cut across other levels below and we hope that when resources get available, related reviews will be rolled down to include the pending levels,” she said.

Ms. Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa – Executive Director Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET) making a comment in response to the presentation

The study findings attracted a number of concerns from guests among which included the existence of school care takers who are not remunerated yet other public servants are earning exorbitant salaries, the lack of medical insurance for public servants, 30% PAYE tax which was said to be high, the need for establishment of a national human resource plan for the public sector and a comparison of salaries in the three government arms to know the extent to which disparities are existing. The Commission was also requested to disseminate the report in order to keep people informed.

Dr. Wolffe-Michael Mors – Head of Programmes GIZ, Ms. Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa – Executive Director LASPNET and Ms. Salima Namusobya – Executive Director Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) during the event

In response to some of the comments raised by guests, Member Zaminah Malole informed representatives from Uganda National Teacher’s Union (UNATU) that the Commission is aware of the salary discontent among teachers and that discussions would be held with the Education Service Commission for redress. She reiterated the Commission’s commitment in addressing issues of salary inequalities which result in poor service delivery. This will motivate employees and subsequently improve service delivery among Ugandans especially vulnerable persons. Member Zaminah Malole urged guests to read the report since it highlights some of the concerns raised and pledged on behalf of the Commission to ensure the report is widely disseminated.

During presentation of the study findings made by Mr. Daniel Mabirizi – Senior Research Officer, huge salary disparities were revealed between the traditional civil service and statutory bodies established by Acts of Parliament. He cited an example of a Director in a Government Ministry who earns UGX. 2,369,300 per month while a Deputy Director in KCCA earns UGX. 27,000,000 per month. At local government level, results showed a wide salary disparity of 50 percent between the Chairperson and the Deputy as well as between the Municipal Mayor and the Deputy. There is also a wide disparity between the annual salaries of the top most paid (U1S) and least paid civil servant (U8 Lower) equivalent to UGX. 57,172,778 (as of December, 2016).

It was also noted that some institutions had wide salary differentials compared with their peers elsewhere as well as significant differentials among their own staff. For example, there are institutions where the ratio of the highest earner and the lowest earner is 51:1 (Uganda Coffee Development Authority). The study further revealed that salary disparities in the public service contribute negatively towards efficiency and effectiveness of services delivery resulting into consequences like absenteeism and corruption.

A sample table (one among many) showing glaring salary disparities

The Vice Chairperson – Mr. Dennis Nduhura making the closing remarks at the event.

While closing the event, Mr. Dennis Nduhura – Vice Chairperson to the Commission appreciated the Public Service Minister for the pledged commitment towards salary harmonization, development partners (GIZ) for funding the study, MDAs for availing secondary and primary information to the study, the media for their unwavering collaboration and publicity and all guests for honoring the invite and producing constructive feedback for the Commission’s future studies.

Among the recommendations made the Commission in its Report is for the Ministry of Public Service to fast track establishment of a Salary review Commission to determine equitable remuneration for Public servants and harmonize of various salary structures across the Public service. Parliament and the Executive should respectively review some laws and policies that relate to establishment and remuneration of Public Institutions to avoid duplication of mandates.

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