By Our Reporter
KAMPALA: Cabinet has approved an enhanced pay plan for all civil servants to take effect in the next financial year.
The State Minister for Public Service Hon. Grace Mugasa, made the revelation, without divulging further details, during a meeting with the Committee on Education and Sports on Tuesday.
Interfacing with the committee, Mugasa explained that the discrepancy in pay for science and arts teachers, for example, was due to the limited wage bill for teachers’ salaries under the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The minister said that the Ministry of Public Service approved the structures for the education ministry, adding that recruitment and payment of salaries for the structures, entirely depends on the wage bill.
“Every year, MDAs and Local Governments submit their wage bill analysis. You can have a wish but if Ministry of Finance does not give you the money, you cannot recruit all the positions you intend to,” said the minister.
“We do not intend to create disparities. If we had the resources to pay, we would have paid everybody the same amount of money. But we are doing it in a phased manner,” said Mugasa.
In the recent past, Tororo District Woman MP, Hon. Sarah Opendi, tabled a motion in Parliament on the exorbitant tuition and non-tuition fees charged by government aided schools.
In one of the prayers, Opendi prayed to Parliament that government posts sufficient teaching and non-teaching staff to government grant-aided schools and pays their salaries and wages.
Mugasa, whilst responding to some of the prayers in the Opendi petition, told the committee that 5,400 Education Officers and Assistant Education Officers have been recruited, with 2,170 already deployed and 3,230 awaiting issuance of appointment letters and deployment.
She added that 1,700 officers were promoted to Education Officer, 160 to Senior Education Officer, 120 to Head teacher and 120 to Deputy Head teacher.
“Despite the constraints of the wage bill, government is committed to filling all vacant positions in post primary as well as primary schools,” the minister added.
Legislators on the committee tasked the Ministry of Public Service to expedite the establishment of the Salary Review Commission.
Hon. Jonathan Ebwalu (Indep., Soroti West Division) alluded to Minister Mugasa’s commitment to the Public Accounts Committee that a committee to look into salaries disparities in the country would be set up.
“These are questions that need answers. Some of our teachers are opting to get out of class and go ride bodabodas because of the salary disparities. Education in this country is not getting a good face,” said Ebwalu.
The minister assured the committee that members to the Salary Review would soon be appointed to enable it kick-start its work.
Hon. Lilian Paparu (NRM, Arua District) raised concern about teachers who have been deployed to school but are not receiving their salaries.
“Some of them stay for nine or so years without getting their salary. Those are the teachers that get frustrated and at times do not enter the classrooms, yet it is the responsibility of Ministry of Public Service to put them on the payroll,” Paparu said.
In response, the minister said: “We want to promise that if Ministry of Finance avails the money, we as [Ministry of] Public Service are ready to put the teachers on the pay roll.”