With barely a week to the expiry of their 90-day ultimatum, local government workers have threatened to go on strike to compel their employer to address their grievances.
In August the workers under their umbrella organisation, the Uganda Local Government Workers Union (ULGWU), demanded that government accord them a ten-fold salary enhancement, with demands that the lowest paid among them earns Shs1.7 million.
ULGWU president Hassan Lwabayi said that much as they petitioned the public service negotiating council, government had not responded to their concerns, prompting them to go on strike again, in protest against ‘the discrimination in treatment (by the employer) which is both illegal and unconstitutional’.
Once effected, the local government workers strike will be just one of the many that have paralysed government work in the last few months, others being strikes by judicial officers, prosecutors and medics.
Last month both the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire and his Public Service counterpart Wilson Mukasa Muruli, implored government workers to halt strikes, saying a bill that is aimed harmonizing their salary structure is before Parliament. “Their grievances will be responded to in late November,” Otafiire said at the time.
Currently, top local government employees earn Shs187, 000 which they want amplified to Shs 1.7m to match workers in other well-paying government bodies such as the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the Bank of Uganda (BoU) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), among other government agencies.