Judicial Officers Suspend Strike

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In short
The officers under the Uganda Judicial Officers Association UJOA started a nationwide strike on August 25 in protest of poor remuneration and government failure to honour its commitment to increase their salaries.

Judicial officers have deferred their industrial action until December 11.  The decision was reached during a meeting held at the High Court in Kampala this afternoon ending almost two weeks of inactivity in courts across the country.


The officers under the Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA) started a nationwide strike on August 25 in protest of poor remuneration and government failure to honour its commitment to increase their salaries.

They want the salary of the Chief Justice increased to 55 million from 20 million Shillings and from 18 million to 53 million Shillings for the Deputy Chief Justice.  They are also suggesting an increment for the Principal Judge from the current 10 million to 50 million Shillings.


Under the current judiciary salary structure, Grade Two Magistrates earn 737, 837 Shillings a month, Senior Grade Two Magistrates earn 860,810 Shillings, and Principal Magistrate Grade Two earn 1.2 million Shillings while Grade One Magistrates earn 1.5 million Shillings.


On a different salary scale are Principal Grade One Magistrates who earn 2.1 million Shillings, Senior Principal Magistrate Grade One gets 2.2 million Shillings, Chief Magistrates earn 2.4 million Shillings, Assistant Registrars 3.1 million Shillings and Chief Registrars earn 4.8 million Shillings.


They are now demanding that the lowest paid grade magistrate should earn at least 11 million Shillings per month, be given medical insurance, housing and fuel allowance.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire said after thorough negotiations, the government has committed to enhancing the salaries of the judicial officers and, in a phased approach, tackle their housing, security and transport needs.
 
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UJOA president Godfrey Kaweesa told URN this afternoon that government has committed to provide a double cabin vehicle to all magistrates and registrars, security personnel to all judicial officers,  equipment to all courts and increase their salaries by November this year.


He said all court officers are expected to resume work tomorrow Thursday, September 7, 2017, and wait for the government to fulfill its commitment.
 
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Apac Grade One Magistrate Gloria Ati shared her experience which involves traveling a distance of over 60 kilometers on a motorcycle to court.
 
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Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine said issues of the Judiciary are not 'bread and butter' adding that government ought to embrace agitations by the judicial officers to help them serve Ugandans better.
 
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Chief Justice Bart Katureebe appealed to judicial officers to accept the offer made by the government and return to work.
 
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About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

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