Govt pay structure unfair, says Mitala

Kampala.
The government salary structure for the 201415 financial year reveals huge pay differences between public employees working in similar or equivalent positions.

The pay structure, a copy of which Sunday Monitor has seen, also reveals huge wage differentials between other public servants, especially those who work with semi-autonomous or statutory agencies, and the traditional civil servants.

The chief executive officers of such public agencies earn between Shs14 million to Shs43 million monthly.

The Head of Civil Service and Secretary to Cabinet, for instance, earns a gross pay of Shs4.9 million while a chairperson of a government commission earns Shs8.4 million.

A Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), who is the accounting officer in a district, earns Shs2.3 million monthly while the Accountant General, who keeps all government accounts (all entities that draw money from the Treasury), also earns Shs2.3 million.

The CAO earns the same as an Assistant Inspector General of Police.

The differences
The Chief Justice and the deputy earn Shs11.5 million and Shs10.5 million respectively. The Inspector General of Government (IGG) earns Shs17.8 million while her deputy gets Shs15 million.

The Inspector General of Police and his deputy earn Shs6.8 million and Shs 6.7 million respectively. The Commissioner General of Prisons and the deputy earn the same as their Police counterparts.

Resident District Commissioners earn Shs2.9 million while district chairpersons earn Shs2 million. Special presidential assistants earn Shs2.3million while district vice chairpersons are paid Shs1 million.
The head of Public Service, Mr John Mitala, told Sunday Monitor that “the wage differentials are not illegal though they may be unfair”.

He said public officials pocketing huge salaries got the wage benefits as a result of the different Acts of Parliament under which they were established.

“The head of civil service earns far less than the executive director of KCCA there are a lot of discrepancies which need to be harmonized,” Mr Mitala said.

KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi is said to pocket Shs43 million monthly while the Secretary to the Treasury gets Shs3.7 million.

The Auditor General smiles all the way to the bank with a whopping Shs36.1 million monthly.

Asked about the effect of such huge wage differentials on the performance of civil servants, Mr Mitala said: “If you accept terms and conditions, you accept and work, but if you don’t accept, you leave.”

Asked why the non-traditional civil servants were paid better than the traditional ones yet all public servants are guided by the same rules and regulations, Mr Mitala said: “The permanent secretary at Public Service ministry should answer those issues. They are the ones responsible for those kinds of things.”

Mr Mitala emphasised the need to harmonise the wage differences in the public employment sector which he described as unfair. He, however, took solace in the fact that money wasn’t everything.

“The money is important but how many people have become head of civil service? The responsibility and the contribution to the country must be paramount—whether I earn little, that is secondary because some of us look at the contribution we make,” he said.

Asked why others demanded huge pay before taking up big public jobs, Mr Mitala said it is their own business because what matters in public office is the honour of being chosen for the job. “One day they will say there was a small man called Mitala who did this and that. Those who have money will say you poor fellow, what are you talking about! But I will be like a snail which leaves a trail,” he said.

Mr Mitala added: “If you ask me to make a contribution of money, I can’t make it because I don’t have it. I have only enough for my family but if you ask me to contribute to a policy, I will do it, sometimes even for free.”

The civil service chief encouraged public servants to place contribution to national development above monetary motivation.
“This is our country. What are you going to be remembered for? Be like a snail which is small but leaves a mark wherever it passes,” Mr Mitala cautioned. He said some people rush for money but when they die, people will say “good riddance”.

“If you earned money genuinely and invested, it’s okay. Otherwise you can have money and when you die people hurry to say rest in peace,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary at the Public Service ministry, Ms Adah Mwanga Kabarokole, also concurred the big wage difference is a weakness.
She acknowledged that the job of permanent secretary is demanding and risky yet their pay is poor. “They are paid duty facilitating allowances but only when you do some work. It’s not something you can plan for as your earning,” she said.

In the case of travel allowances, she said not all officials benefit from travel facilitation. “When will an office messenger or driver travel abroad? The whole thing is that we need a salaries commission,” she said.

The Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, who pays out the huge salaries to others but earns less, said: “We can’t cry over spilt milk it should be rationalised in the future.”
He said he releases money to pay salaries to others because it is a matter of policy.

Salaries for civil servants

cobore@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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