Nurses and midwives under their umbrella body Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU) have given government an ultimatum of 7 days to increase their respective salaries by 400% short of which they will lay down their tools.
This follows a consultative meeting held on November 23 in which the nurses and midwives resolved that their salaries should be enhanced so that the lowest cadre in nursing earns Shs 2.5 million.
In addition to the 400% salary increment, they demand to be paid allowances including; housing, transport, risk, medical, responsibility, transfer, leave, funeral and overtime allowance totalling to Shs 9 million each.
They have also asked government to implement the Schemes of Services of Nursing and Midwifery Cadre which was drafted by the Ministry of Public Service 5 years ago but has not been actualized.
The Scheme was meant to be the basis of revision of salaries for the nurses and midwives.
“The members noted that the current salaries for the nurses and midwives are inadequate to meet their basic needs like accommodation, food, transport, medical fees and supporting their families,” Paul Bukenya, the General Secretary fot Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union wrote in a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service.
The letter dated November 27 is copied to the Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament, Minister of Health, Ministry of Finance, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Commissioner for Nursing.
The Union is dissatisfied that while government recently promised to increase the salaries of medical doctors after they went on strike, nothing was mentioned in regard to the working conditions of the nurses and midwives.
“The members therefore demanded that government gives its position about the increment of nurses and midwives salaries and implement of the New Schemes of Service for Nursing Cadres within 7 days,” the letter further read.
They say “failure of government to comply, the nurses and midwives will lay down their tools by December 5, 2017”.
These demands follow a 3 weeks strike by doctors which was suspended after government committed to increasing their salaries and fulfilling the other demands raised.
The medical profession decries of working in a difficult state where they are not protected from possible infections due to lack of basic supplies.