BY DAVID MAFABI
Cabinet has approved a salary-enhanced pay plan for all civil servants to take effect next financial year.
Mrs Grace Mary Mugasa, the State Minister for Public Service 6 September said without divulging further details, during a meeting with the Committee on Education and Sports at Parliament that the Ministry of Public Service has already approved the structures for the education ministry.
Mrs Mugasa added that the recruitment and payment of salaries for the structures will entirely depend on the wage bill.
While facing the committee Mrs 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.
“Every year, MDAs and Local Governments submit their wage bill analysis. You can have a wish but if the Ministry of Finance does not give you the money, you cannot recruit all the positions you intend to,” Mrs Mugasa said.
“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,” she added.
This comes at the time Tororo District Woman MP, Ms. Sarah Opendi, tabled a motion in Parliament on the exorbitant tuition and non-tuition fees charged by government-aided schools across the country.
In her prayers, Ms Opendi prayed to Parliament that the government posts sufficient teaching and non-teaching staff to government grant-aided schools and pays their salaries and wages.
But the minister while 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 Headteacher, and 120 to Deputy Headteacher.
“Despite the constraints of the wage bill, the government is committed to filling all vacant positions in post-primary as well as primary schools,” she added.
Meanwhile, Legislators on the committee on Education and Sports tasked the Ministry of Public Service to expedite the establishment of the Salary Review Commission.
The minister assured the committee that members of the Salary Review would soon be appointed to enable it to kick-start its work.
Arua district MP Ms. Lilian Paparu raised concern about teachers who have been deployed to schools but are not receiving their salaries to date for close to a year.
“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 the Ministry of Public Service to put them on the payroll,” Paparu said. Ends