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PUT THE SHS4M SALARY PROMISE IN WRITING: Science Teachers Demand Official Written Commitment from Museveni Before Ending Strike

President Museveni. Courtesy Photo
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Ugandan secondary school science teachers have told President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni and his government to formalize their promise for the increment of their salaries to Shs4m for a graduate starting in July 2022. 

The teachers have been on strike since Monday, May 09, when the second term of the national school calendar started. A number of science teachers are said to have stayed away from their respective schools, leaving only their arts counterparts to attend to students.

Under their umbrella body, the Uganda Professional Science Teachers’ Union (UPSTU), science teachers insist that they have been left behind on a number of occasions when other government employed scientists have had their salaries increased.

They say that government has previously promised to increase their salaries, only to decline to do so when it comes to the budgeting process. They say that the money meant to raise their pay has previously been diverted to increase the pay for other scientists and government workers who government prioritizes.

It is now clear that in the 2022-2023 Financial Year which begins in July 2022, President Museveni’s government plans to increase salaries for all scientists. As part of their argument in a meeting held days ago between UPSTU leaders and Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa, science teachers made it clear that it would be unfair for government not to include them on the list of scientists who should benefit from a decision to enhance salaries.

With the strike still in its first week, government seems to have bowed under pressure and promised to increase the science teachers’ salaries as President Museveni had directed.

But UPSTU leaders say that they will not call on the strike until they have got a written  communication from government making commitments that Shs111bn needed to enhance their salaries fully will be included in the 2022-2023 budget that Parliament is expected to pass in the coming few weeks.

“In 2018 they told us to wait and see what will come in the budget. We waited for the reading, the reading [of the budget] happened. Some districts even started paying people and then money was withdrawn,” said Ramathan Katende, the UPSTU Coordinator.

“Let the government commit itself in writing, then we shall sit with our [National Executive Committee] NEC and decide [on the way forward].”

UPSTU National Chairperson Vincent Elong has made it clear that the strike has not yet been called off and it will continue until government has formally committed itself to enhancing science teachers’ salaries. “Our industrial action is still on as we wait for an official communication from government,” said Elong.

On May 10, Information Minister Dr Chris Baryomunsi revealed that cabinet had resolved to start paying each graduate science teacher Shs4m beginning 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.

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’

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