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IT’S OUR TIME TO EAT; YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN: Science Teachers Tell Their Arts Colleagues to Fight for Themselves as Government Promises Shs4m Monthly Salary Starting July 2022

Ugandan science teachers have told their arts (humanities) counterparts to fight for themselves and ensure that their salaries are increased.

Under their umbrella body, Uganda Professional Science Teachers’ Union (UPSTU), science teachers are currently on strike demanding salary increment. The strike, which began on Monday, May 09, the day second term started, is still on even when President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni has promised to raise science teachers’ pay.

But ever since government promised to prioritize salary enhancement for science teachers, the debate on why their arts counterparts have been left behind has continued, albeit not prominently. But it is now reemerging.

According to UPSTU president Vincent Elong, who teaches at City High School, salary disparities between scientists and their counterparts in arts or humanities are not unique to the teaching profession or the education sector.

Elong now wants the public to stop being biased against science teachers, and let them earn millions every month when their arts counterparts, their colleagues in the same schools, are taking home less than Shs1m every month. In fact, some teachers think it is their turn and time to eat and the arts teachers should not make noise and disrupt their ‘eating.’

“There is a way the public has been biased towards the salary enhancement of science teachers. This disparity between sciences and humanities is not only in the education sector but also in other sectors like the police,” Elong told NBS Morning Breeze on May 11.

“What the government is proposing is abnormal. How do you leave a science teacher at Shs1m and a nurse with a certificate at the same amount? What pushed us to declare this industrial action is the continuous marginalization of this group of scientists, the teachers, that is very key to this country.”

Elong complained that the Shs900,000 he earns every month is little and cannot help him meet his needs. “I work at City High School and earn UGX 900,000. This is the money I have to use to get affordable housing, transport to and from work, and pay school fees for my children, among other responsibilities. We are still the selfless teachers we have always been, but the cost of living is high,” he said.

But the UPSTU boss has made it clear that he and fellow science teachers are on strike to fight for themselves, and that arts teachers should fight their own salary increment battles.

“I am not responsible for the salaries of the arts teachers. They have a union, and that union should sort their salary issues,” said Elong. 

Days ago, Museveni’s cabinet agreed to pay each graduate science teacher Shs4m starting July 2022. (Read Story Here).

But the science teachers’ union leaders have refused to end their strike, insisting that Museveni’s government put the Shs4m monthly salary promise in writing before they can return to class. (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.

UPDATED LIST: See Salary Structure for All Government Workers

Meanwhile, an NRM MP has angered teachers after telling them they are too poor to go on strike. (Read Story Here).

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SALARY INCREMENT CIRCUS: Museveni Cabinet Yet to Allow Public Service to Release New Salary Structure

WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? Shs110 Billion Initially Set Aside to Increase Science Teachers’ Salaries but Money Reportedly ‘Disappeared’

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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