Nurses under their umbrella body, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union(UNMU) have given government a 90 -day ultimatum for releasing their sacco money or else they lay down tools.
According to an October,1 letter to the Minister of Public Service but also copied to the President, Prime Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Finance and the Ministry of Labour among other government agencies, the nurses says during celebrations to mar the International Nurses day on May,12,2018 President Museveni promised them shs1 billion into their sacco but the same has not materialized.
“On October,24,2019, the Principal Private Secretary to the President communicated a presidential directive towards the fulfillment of his pledge to Ministry of Finance but to date, the ministry has remained silent on the issue,” UNMU president, Justus Cherop Kiplangat says in the letter.
He explains that during last year’s celebrations the president made another pledge of increasing the nurses’ allowances which Cherop says has never been fulfilled.
“We have made several reminders to the concerned government ministries but have not received any positive response. You are well aware that the nurses and midwives are facing more great challenges during this Covid19 period ranging from very poor occupational safety and health standards to being unable to meet even the very basic economic needs.”
Nurses and midwives are currently getting 2000 shillings as their daily allowance but in the agreement they reached with government, the money will be increased to 15000 shillings.
This would mean that it would cost government shs126 billion in a year for the 24500 nurses and midwives in government hospitals.
The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union says that at the end of the 90-day grace period on December 30, 2020, they will begin an industrial action until their issues are solved by government.
“To this end, we wish to inform you that we have decided to exercise our constitutional rights as nurses and midwives to withdraw our labour effective December,30,2020 until our demands are met,”