Today marks a historical event where the first Public Service Tribunal is being inaugurated.
Indeed it’s not only historical but is a major turning point in the Public Service/ Employee Relations arena. For several years there has been a void in terms of an appellant body to arbitrate Labour disputes & ensure harmony in the Public Service. This scenario has ended today.
I also take the opportunity of sincerely thanking members of the tribunal for accepting the appointment and honoring government, without which we would not be here.
As you may recall, Cabinet approved the Public Service (Negotiating, Consultative and Disputes Settlement Machinery) Bill, 2005.
Accordingly, Parliament enacted the Public Service (Negotiating, Consultative and Disputes Settlement Machinery) Act, 2008. The Act was assented to on 20th May 2008 and came into force on 1st October, 2008 by S.I N0. 39 of 2008 (Commencement Instrument).
The purpose of the Act was to:
- provide for the creation of Consultative Committees in each department or other unit or subdivision of Government and in each Local Government to offer conciliation services in labour disputes;
- establish a Public Service Negotiating and Consultative Council to among other things, facilitate consultations, dialogue and negotiations between the Government as employer and Public Service Labour Unions;
- establish a Public Service Tribunal to arbitrate labour disputes and secure harmonious labour relations in the public service and provide for other related matters.
The Ministry of Public Service constituted and operationalized the Public Service Negotiating and Consultative Council in 2012 and has since the sensitized Ministries, Departments, Agencies and District Local Governments to form Consultative Committees.
In February 2019, Parliament approved members and terms and conditions of service for the Public Service Tribunal. However the operationalization of the Tribunal was not immediately possible since the approval was communicated towards the end of the Financial Year.
Fortunately this FY we have made the operations of the Tribunal one of our priorities and enabled the commencement of its operations.
The Tribunal consists of a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and six other members nominated by Labour Unions, who have been appointed by the Minister responsible for the Public Service. As a Ministry we are not only delighted but also privileged to have a tribunal comprised of very distinguished retired civil servants with a wealth of knowledge and experience, which the service will benefit from.
Members of the Tribunal are:
|1||Justice A.R. Rwamisazi Kagaba||Chairperson|
|2||Martin Olobo||Deputy Chairperson|
|3||Anne Florence Luziraa||Member|
|7||Lwabyayi Hassan Mudiba||Member|
|8||Ochira Omara Francis||Member|
Functions of the Tribunal are:
- To hear and arbitrate, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, any labour dispute referred to it by the Minister;
- To make awards or recommendations to the Government on labour disputes referred to it; and
- To secure harmonious labour relations in the public service.
In the current era of numerous complaints and Labour unrest in the service, most especially on the Education Institutions and other spheres of Government, it is opportune that the Tribunal is finally here.
It is my sincere belief that there will be no lack of work because it’s only the Labourers that are few but the harvest is rich.
It is my pleasure to announce that we have finally achieved full operationalization of the Public Service (Negotiating, Consultative and Disputes Settlement Machinery) Act, 2008.
I hereby declare the Uganda Public Service Tribunal inaugurated.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.
Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa (MP)MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVI