Government Policy on Science Killing morale in Local Governments
By Our Reporter
The slump in service delivery at the local government level has been blamed on the discrepancies in salaries of science based and non-science based staff.
This came to light as technical staff from various districts discussed at Uganda’s progress in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a review workshop organised by the East African Local Governments Association (EALGA) and Uganda Local Governments Association (ULGA) at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
Juliet Aceng, a Senior Administrative Secretary (Sub County Chief) in Abim district says, the government policy on Science has left many non-science based staff in the districts disgruntled because they earn lower than their science colleagues.
“The public took it that the policy applies to only teachers but it was implemented even in local governments. Now imagine Senior Administrative Secretary who earns a salary of Shs 800,000 supervising an officer who earns between Shs 1.3 million to Shs 2 million simply because he is a scientist,” Aceng said.
Samalie Negese from Mutoto Sub County in Mbale district said, the discrepancy has made their supervisory roles difficult since their juniors who are scientists and earning better underlook them.
Marion Tukahurirwa, the Kyankwanzi Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) said, while it is frustrating to supervise an officer who earns higher than their pay, accounting officers need not to negate their duties.
Apart from the policy affecting service delivery, Local government leaders are concerned affects their pension money.
Because science staff earn higher, even their pension is higher which to the non science staff means a disadvantage at time of retirement from duty.
They suggest that government introduces a special allowance like science allowance as they did with the hard to reach area allowance to recognise the science staff.