KAMPALA – The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) an umbrella association of employers in the country has re-elected National Water & Sewerage Cooperation Managing Director Dr. Eng Silver Mugisha as its chairperson.
Dr. Mugisha was reappointed at the 44th Annual General Meeting held at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Friday, March 24, 2023.
Ms. Annet Nakawunde Mulindwa, was also reelected Vice Chairperson of the FUE Governing Council.
The other Governing members elected include National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), Uganda Christian University (UCU), Bioversity International, Brookside and Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
The Federation was registered on 18th August 1960 under the names of Society of Employers and it was changed to Federation of Uganda Employers on 17th August 1961 under the Trustees Incorporation Act 1939.
Today, FUE is the Voice of Employers on social and economic issues. It is recognized both locally and internationally.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Ms. Betty Amongi, applauded Dr. Mugisha and his administration for the transformational leadership at the federation
The labour Minister, however, suggested employers to consider a living wage for their employers.
“We have talked about a minimum wage but for me, I am giving you a compromise, I want a living wage for workers. A living wage should be something that you present to your worker and will cater for that worker’s accommodation, transport, health, meals and be able to support his or her daily earnings like school fees requirements and other things,” she said.
The Minister added that employers should pursue an inclusive labour market, and ponder around how they would build on the policy that has successfully supported the earnings of living wage for workers.
“Think through that, how do you address issues of security of work, low payments. Let us learn from each other because there are organisations that pay well,” Minister Amongi said.
In his address, Dr. Mugisha asserted the living wage for workers in Uganda is a good concept but not an easy equation to balance owing to recent economic dynamics.
Dr Migisha said the much sought-after living wage of workers is a very good concept and it is much better than the minimum wage.
“The minimum wage basically tries to depend on bench marking by looking at what other countries have done and try to copy and use it in your country,” Dr Mugisha said.
He added that, “The living wage is much more a meaningful concept. We know the things, anybody would need to live like you need to be able to pay for water, afford housing, and pay school fees for your children. It is not something that will happen just like that, it needs to be discussed, so that we can have the parameters for it so that we can see both workers and employers win.”
He told reporters that the concept is good but the equation is still hard, noting that stakeholders need to see how to deal with it so that they get a win-win solution.
Mr Medard Sseggona Lubega, the MP for Busiro East in Wakiso District said the issue of living wage for workers is a matter that has been controversial over the years and employers need to determine it finally.
“A minimum wage as per the current living standards is very difficult but a living wage is not possible in Uganda. We need to benchmark and see how other countries are doing it or manage. Before the living wage comes in, it is upon us, it us upon us citizens to see how we can navigate with the little that we earn,” Mr Sseggona said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mugisha underscored the importance of Technical education and said wants more Ugandans including to acquire technical skills to bolster the labour market.
He said the federation would work with partners such as national water that are already working with refugees to supply them with water.
“We want to see how the skills of these people can be utilised to help in the employment market,” he said, adding that “We have helped them acquire skills and got certificates so that they are able to join the labour market, this is a good thing because they were not able to work because their skills were not recognised, the federation came in and has achieved that.”