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Nurses, Midwives call off strike as govt pledges UGX 44.9bn for lunch allowances

Nurses and midwives met with government officials

Nurses and midwives under their umbrella body of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU) have called off their strike, 5 days after they declared to lay down their tools over uncleared lunch allowances.

The decision to end the strike was reached after successful negotiations with government to cater for their lunch allowances at Shs. 10,000 per day in the next financial year.

In an exclusive story run by DailyExpress last week, UNMU president Cherop Justus Kiplangat urged all nurses, midwives, and nursing assistants across the country to lay down their tools and declared an emergency strike until their grievances had been worked upon.

The industrial action was prompted by government’s failure to to fulfill its pledge of increasing their lunch allowances from the current Shs. 2000 to Shs. 15,000 per day.

Negotiations have been underway since. Now the Ministry of Finance committed Shs44.9 billion (Shs.10,000 per day) to cater for the lunch allowances for 22 days in the next financial year.

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Government also explained to the health workers that the president’s pledge to cater for their lunch allowances (Shs.15,000 per day) had not been fulfilled because of resource constraints.

“In view of resource constraints, it was agreed that government finds at least Shs. 44.9bn for the start as a top up to enable payment of a rate of Shs. 10,000 per day for 22 days for nurses and midwives,” State Minister for Health, Dr. Joyce Moriku noted.

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Minister Moriku said the government will look for the money being discussed in the context of the budget that is currently being discussed and appropriated in parliament.

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