A meeting that First lady and education minister Janet Kataaha Museveni was expected to have with leaders of the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) today, Friday, June 17, has been postponed.
The proposed meeting followed the the start of the teachers’ 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 are opposed to a decision by government to only increase salaries of science teachers, leaving them behind, yet they have the same qualifications and suffer similar pressures due to the rising cost of living.
Government will increase diploma science teachers salaries to Shs3m per month while graduate science teachers will be getting Shs4m per month.
A diploma arts teachers gets Shs795,000; graduate teachers 1,080,000, while Grade III teachers earn Shs560,000 monthly. Unatu wants Grade III teachers to be given Shs1.35m each per month, diploma holder Shs2.7m, and graduate teachers Shs4.5m.
Today, June 17, the strike enters day three. A number of schools have sent students (pupils/learners) home, telling them to return when the industrial 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.
On Wednesday, June 15, Public Service Minister Muruli Mukasa revealed that Minister Ms Museveni will meet Unatu leaders on Friday.
But Unatu secretary general Filbert Bates Baguma has revealed that the meeting has been postponed. Consequently, the meeting which had earlier been scheduled to Friday, June 17, has been pushed to Saturday, June 18. It was not readily clear why the meeting has been postponed.
In his budget speech read on Tuesday, Finance Minister Matia 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).
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).