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Medical Lab Techs Suspend Strike over Deployment Promises

Sylvia Nabuddo, the Deputy General Secretary, Uganda Medical Laboratory Technology Association (UMLTA) told journalists on Friday that they held a meeting with Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa early in the week who promised to address their grievances.

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Medical Laboratory Professionals working in government health facilities have suspended their three-week-long strike after the Public Service Ministry promised to recognize degree holders while hiring and pay them accordingly.

Sylvia Nabuddo, the Deputy General Secretary, Uganda Medical Laboratory Technology Association (UMLTA) told journalists on Friday that they held a meeting with Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa early in the week who promised to address their grievances.

Some of the grievances include failure to harmonize the structure of service and recognize district laboratory focal persons as Assistant District Health Officers in charge of lab services will be sorted in a month’s time.

//Cue in; ”We agreed on three…

Cue out…increase and disparities.”// 

The Lab techs say they also agreed that starting with the coming Financial Year 2022/2023, they will start earning a salary categorized as medical one in Public Service structures from medical two that they are currently categorized under.

Under medical one, they will be earning a monthly salary of 3.3 million Shillings, an increment from 2.2 million Shillings, according to UMLTA’s Vice President Patrick Wabuyi. He however adds that his colleagues have not been earning the old salary too because the government has to date not been recognizing degree holder lab techs. They have all been earning a salary of a diploma holder amounting to 1.2milliom Shillings. 

//Cue in; “Initially the government…

Cue out…The degree persons.”//

In a letter seen by URN, Muruli Mukasa asked the striking health workers to immediately call off their strike promising to solve their grievances noting that they are in consultations which they hope to have solved by February 12.

However, these are not all that they pushed for in December when the strike launched. They also agitated against understaffing in government labs in addition to seeking compensation for their deceased colleagues due to COVID-19.  Wabuyi says they haven’t received feedback on these and resolved to resume work with commitment from the government.

According to statistics by Allied Health Professionals Council, there are about 13,000 registered lab professionals, with 10,000 in active service.               

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