In Uganda, International Labour Day is meant to celebrate the achievements that workers, employers and government have made over a period of time and most importantly reflecting on the fact that labour is an essential input to the economic development of the country.
According to the MD NWSC Dr. Eng Silver Mugisha, labour ought to be construed as the measure of output against input. In the case of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), staff productivity is measured based on the number of staff per 1000 connections. The corporation puts particular emphasis on issues of labour productivity, staff welfare and collaboration between the given players.
In his Labor Day communication, Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha (who is also the Chairman for Federation of Uganda Employers) reiterated that the Corporation has a tripartite arrangement with the government on one side and the employees on the other as well as the employer hence labour day being celebrated in a tripartite manner with the three players working in close collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Labour Day helps the Corporation to focus on a number of areas such as employee welfare where the board and management, working together with the union leadership, have made significant inroads in improving staff conditions in the human resource manual. For example staff who have had 25 years of uninterrupted service will be entitled to self-medical insurance for life, those with 30 years of uninterrupted service will be entitled to a long service award, self-medical insurance for life and a contribution on land should the staff be interested in purchasing a plot of land in their retirement. And in the event that an employee serves for more than 35 years, he or she shall be entitled to all the above stipulated benefits.
The Corporation has also put in place a number of recipes to improve labour productivity and key amongst them is personal development of the staff. In the same vein, Dr. Mugisha has urged the staff to watch their life styles and invest the little resources at their disposal and pledged that management will focus on improving their welfare through timely payment of salaries and gratuities.
The MD has reemphasized the need for collaboration between the employees, employer and the government who is the sole shareholder of the institution and whose expectations have to be met including increasing the number of new connections, water production and number of people served. And to achieve all this, the Board and management acknowledge that staff welfare is paramount.
Labour Day is also a day to celebrate employment creation and whenever possible, NWSC will enable more Ugandans to get employed as well as facilitating improvement of employees’ terms. Dr. Mugisha has also called for mindset change amongst his staff to see to it that they work towards water for all to the delight of the customers as the management works towards their delight. He says the three pillars are very important as far as the purpose of the Corporation is concerned.