Just days after government resolved a costly weeklong sit down strike by State Prosecutors under the office of the DPP by agreeing to increase their salaries, Judges and Magistrates have also announced an industrial action.
Both groups fall under the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
The judges and magistrates today gave government a 30 day ultimatum to increase their pay or they won’t be coming to court.
The Judges and Magistrates under their umbrella association, the Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA) in an extraordinary meeting held at High Court in Kampala, put the matter to vote and resolved to take the strike option.
185 officers supported the strike while only one opposed it.
The judicial officers claim that with their current pay, they are unable to sustain their families.
On top of salary increment, they also want health insurance, a government vehicle and security.
These want the salary of the Chief justice increased from 20million to 55 million shillings.
Deputy Chief Justice – 18M to 53M
Principle Judge – 10m to 50M
Justices of the Supreme Court – 9M to 34M
Justices of the Court of Appeal – 9M to 33M
High Court Judges – 9m to 31m
Chief Registrar – 4M to 27M
Registrars – 4m to 23m
Asistant Registrars – 3m to 20m
Chief Magistrates – 2m to 17m
Principal Magistrates Grade one – 2m to 14m
Senior Principle Magistrate Grade one 2M to 14m
Senior grade one magistrate 1.5m to 2.9m
The officers say that with their current pay, the have been a laughing stock in spite of spending a lot of time on work.
Justice Minister Hon Kahinda Otafiire attended the meeting and urged them to remain calm as government looks into their concerns.
“The time I have spent in the ministry, I have been pushing for an increment in your salaries and working conditions but it has not been successful because of the limited funds,” he said.
“Currently, government is working on a number projects like dams to provide cheap electricity, construction of better roads and improving on security which is all aimed at attracting more investors to increase government’s tax base.”
The Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe, represented by Principle Judge Yorokamu Bamwiine informed the officers that they have engaged in a number of negotiations with government aimed at promoting their welfare and this week he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister over this situation.
His worship Godfrey Kawesa, the President of UJOA emphasized that the 30 day ultimatum starts on Monday 24th July and will expire on Monday 24th August.