Uganda Nurses, Midwives issues December ultimatum to strike over Shs1b pledge, lunch allowances

The President, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union [UNMU], Justus Cherop Kiplangat addressing the press at UNMU offices in Mulago, Kampala.

Kampala, Uganda |  URN | Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union [UNMU] has again threatened industrial action following their botched meeting to discuss their allowances on Thursday 12, November 2020.   

Justus Cherop Kiplangat, the President of the Union says they went to the Ministry of Public Service to alert the Minister and Permanent Secretary about their long-standing grievances to increase their lunch allowance from the current Shs2,200 and push for their Shillings One billion SACCO money that was promised by President Yoweri Museveni early in 2018. 

He, however, says the meeting didn’t yield anything, not even a promise was made yet in 2018 cabinet approved the increase of their lunch allowance to Shs15,000. 

According to Cherop, this shows that the government doesn’t recognize the importance of their work, saying they have resolved to lay down their tools on December 30th, 2020 should government fail to address their concerns by end of November 2020.  

Cherop says Nurses are working under harsh conditions and the fact that they are disrespected at the top ministerial level shows that they only have one option, to stop working.  

“This meeting wasn’t abrupt. It was a follow up. If a meeting is called there should be no signs of disrespect to either party like what was exhibited on Thursday where the minister invited us but ended up sending us non-consequential officials who only could say we shall inform our bosses,” he said angrily. 

Read Also: Uganda Nurses demand UGX 126 billion in lunch allowances

This is not the first time that the union is issuing threats or even declaring a strike. In 2018, when they first demanded an increase in their lunch allowance it took them an industrial action to have cabinet discuss and pass the resolution to increase it from Shillings 2,200 to Shs15,000. 

If government was to release this money, it means they would spend Shs126billion on just lunch for the 24,500 registered nurses annually.