First lady and education minister Janet Kataaha Museveni is expected to hold a meeting with leaders of the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) following the start of their strike demanding salary increment to the level of their science counterparts.
The strike began on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, a day after the reading of the national budget for the 2022-2023 financial year which starts in July 2022.
Science teachers in secondary schools and primary school teachers across the country are protesting a decision by government to only increase salaries of science teachers, leaving them behind.
On June 15, the day the industrial action started, a number of schools sent students (pupils/learners) home, telling them to return when the strike has ended. In other schools, teachers showed up but did not step in class.
In some secondary schools, only science teachers showed up in class, while in others, learners were seen conducting lessons for their fellows.
Hours after the start of the strike, Public Service Minister Muruli Mukasa revealed that Minister Ms Museveni would soon hold a meeting with Unatu leaders to discuss the way forward.
Minister Muruli Mukasa, who doubles as the acting Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, also urged arts teachers and their primary school counterparts to resume work.
“The Hon First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports has called a meeting with the Uganda National Teachers’ Union leaders on Friday, June 17, 2022, where a way forward will be agreed,” he said. “We call upon all teachers to return to classes and teach.”
The minister also revealed that the ministries of Education and Sports, Public Service, the Attorney General and Solicitor General, have held meetings to discuss the issues raised by Unatu, whose secretary general is Filbert Bates Baguma.
Minister Janet Museveni is expected to communicate the resolution by these ministries, which will most likely be the government position on the matter.
In his budget speech read on Tuesday, Finance Minister Kasaija announced that the salaries of science teachers, scientists and health workers will be increased in a ‘very big’ way starting July 2022. (Read Story Here).
The increment of science teachers’ salaries has caused chaos in schools as arts (humanities) teachers have announced a strike (beginning Wednesday, June 15, demanding salary increment. (Read Story Here).
MORE ON SALARY INCREMENT CIRCUS
In order to improve service delivery and end the challenge of strikes over low pay, President Museveni’s government has proposed huge salary increments for teachers, doctors and other employees starting July 2022. (Read Story Here)
The proposed increments have left many people wondering if government will really fulfill this pledge and increase salaries by very high amounts.
For example, opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has argued that the promise of salary increment is just ‘another lie.’ (Read Story Here).
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija recently said the money for increasing teachers’, doctors’ and other civil servants’ salaries was available. (Read Story Here).
In August 2021, cabinet approved salary increment for teachers, doctors and other health workers. (Read Story Here).
See the salary structure that had been proposed for the current financial year here.
Meanwhile, an NRM MP has angered teachers after telling them they are too poor to go on strike. (Read Story Here).