NYC workers protest over back-pay

By Paulina Ndalikokule

NATIONAL Youth Council (NYC) employees demanded during a demonstration yesterday that management pay them an outstanding amount of six months back-pay, which the institution reportedly owes them from 2018.

In a petition read by Ileni Henguva, chairperson of NAPWU at the NYC, the workers demanded that management pay the monies owed to them for the period from April 2018 to November 2018. “We have run out of patience,” they said. “In the meantime the cost of living is getting higher while salaries are low and [we are] subjected to slavery.”

They complained that during 2018/2019 financial year, the management of NYC falsely made them believe that the institution was under heavy budget cuts from central government and raised their salaries by only six percent without the workers’ full agreement.

“Surprisingly, when the SOE remuneration framework directive on adjustments of salaries of the board and management came out, they without shame affected their increment and gave a little drop of 6 percent to the staff members,” Henguva further read.

He said management agreed to give the workers a six percent salary increment and the back-pay for December 2018 by January 2019, and promised to pay the remainder by April. “You promised that we will receive the rest of the pay within the first quarter of the financial year 2019/20, which later lapsed,” he stressed.

He said management promised to pay the workers in portions from the lower grade to the highest due to tight cash flow at the NYC at the time, but did not keep that promise either as they were apparently unable to pay all at the same time.

“We are tired of false promises. We have been promised so many times that the back-pay shall be paid and none of the set timelines bore any fruits. How are you claiming to refer this matter back to the board and want us to continue waiting until the end of October with no proper assurance that the payments will be made?” he asked.

The workers also said the NYC was an unhealthy, unconducive and a demoralising environment to work in. “The institution has a lot of unresolved issues with employees, yet it is not a concern to them,” Henguva complained.

HR manager Dominic Mukumba received their petition, which was addressed to board chairperson Mandela Kapere. Mukumba declined to comment on the workers’ grievances and demands but promised to deliver the petition to the relevant officials.

The workers gave the board until 11 October to answer.

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