President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government has, through the Ministry of Public Service, announced its decision on the push for salary increment by secondary school arts and primary school teachers following talks between Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu) and Vice President Jessica Alupo.
In a letter dated June 30, which is the last day of the 2021-2022 Financial Year, Public Service Ministry Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire has saluted Unatu secretary general Filbert Bates Baguma and his fellow union leaders for agreeing to have talks with the government.
“This is to refer to yours UNATU/MOPS/05/022 dated 25th May, 2022 and the various engagements with the leadership of UNATU regarding the above matter [salary increment for teachers],” wrote PS Bitarakwate, who not many days ago threatened to fire striking teachers who don’t want to return to class and wait for increment in subsequent financial years.
“UNATU’s acceptance of the engagements with Government has been appreciated because of the spirit of goodwill and nationalism that has been exhibited. In the same spirit, Government has taken serious consideration of the concerns presented.”
The PS also informed teachers that salary increment for all government employees, including secondary school arts and primary school teachers, will be implemented in the medium term.
“The matter has been discussed and consultations escalated to the Executive of Government. In this regard, I hereby convey the commitment of Government to implement the approved pay plan concerning all Teachers including Primary School Teachers and employees in the entire Public Service. This will be undertaken within the medium term,” she noted.
She also pleaded with Baguma and his Unatu team to tell striking teachers to return to class as soon as possible.
“Therefore, this is to request that in the interest of our learners and in view of the on-going recovery of lost time, your esteemed and valued teaching fraternity resumes teaching at the earliest time,” concluded PS Bitarakwate.
This announcement will come as a huge blow to arts teachers who were protesting salary increment disparities after government increased pay for their colleagues who teach science subjects.
Meanwhile, education minister Janet Museveni has told striking arts teachers that there are over 30,000 unemployed and desperate teachers who are ready to grab their jobs once government fires them. (Read Story Here).
You can read more of our coverage on the arts teachers’ strike below:
MORE ON ARTS TEACHERS’ STRIKE
In his budget speech read on June 14, 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).
Hours after Minister Kasaija read the budget for the 2022-23 Financial Year indicating a salary increment for teachers of science, arts teachers began their strike, making it clear that all teachers matter. (Read Story Here).
Government held talks with secondary school arts teachers and primary school teachers’ leaders under Unatu. After failing to convince the striking teachers to call off their industrial action, Museveni’s government through Public Service Ministry Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, resorted to threatening teachers to either return to class or be fired.
But secondary school arts and primary level teachers under Unatu have fired back at President Museveni’s government, making it clear that threats of being fired will not force them to end their strike. (Read Story Here).
Relatedly, more government employees’ unions have threatened to lay down their tools in solidarity with striking teachers if government fires them, meaning that there could some sort of national shutdown. (Read Story Here).
The amount of money that President Museveni wants each arts teacher to be paid every month — as and when resources become available — has been revealed. (Read Story Here).
MORE ON SCIENCE TEACHERS’ SALARY INCREMENT
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).