MOST WORKING UGANDANS LESS EDUCATED, POORLY PAID

By Samuel Sanya

KAMPALA, Sept 23– Most working Ugandans are only educated up to secondary level, work for 10 years, six days a week and earn at least 403 shillings per hour according to a wages survey.

In the wage indicator survey, released recently, 1,306 Ugandans from all administrative regions were interviewed by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in conjunction with Dutch and Tanzanian researchers.

Conservative estimates place Uganda’s working population at 17 million. The average working week of respondents was almost 60 hours and they worked six days per week.

Slightly over half (51 per cent) worked evenings, seven of 10 workers reported working on Saturdays, while four of 10 worked on Sundays.

Nearly half of the workers in the sample were managers. Only two of 10 workers had a permanent contract, three of 10 were on fixed term contract while four of 10 workers said they were entitled to social security.

Despite the low numbers entitled to pensions, respondents indicated having four dependants on average. The analysis showed that 77 per cent of the workers were paid on or above the poverty line of 403 shillings per hour or 1.25 US dollars per day.

Five per cent of workers had no formal education, 14 per cent studied to primary education 48 per cent had secondary education certificates, 16 per cent had a college education and 17 per cent a university degree. Only 62 per cent of informal workers are paid above the poverty line compared with 97 per cent of the most formal workers.

Workers in trade, transport and hospitality are most at risk of poverty with 30 per cent paid less than a US dollar a day. Public servants were best paid. At least 92 per cent earned above the poverty line.

State Minister for Labour Rukutana Mwesigwa recently revealed that the Cabinet was considering creation of a wage board and a minimum wage.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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