Ugandan science teachers have agreed to end their strike after receiving a commitment letter from the Ministry of Public Service, unclear on the amount by which their salaries will be increased.
Under their umbrella body, the Uganda Professional Science Teachers’ Union (UPSTU), science teachers have today, May 19, announced the end of their strike. The industrial action, which began on May 09, the beginning of second term, lasted only 10 days.
UPSTU Executive Committee members were joined by officials from First Lady Janet Kataaha Museveni’s Ministry of Education and Sports at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala as they addressed reporters on their decision to call off the strike.
According to Aron Mugaiga, the UPSTU general secretary, members of the union’s National Executive Council/Committee convened today (May 19) and discussed contents of the letter received from Muruli Mukasa’s Ministry of Public Service.
Mugaiga said the letter reaffirmed government’s commitment to addressing their concerns. It was based on this letter that the UPSTU resolved that the strike be called off “to give government a chance to implement what it has put into writing.”
But he made it clear that the science teachers would resume their strike on June 13 if their demands are not met. The science teachers want government to pay a graduate Shs4m and a diploma holder Shs3m monthly.
Even as they called off the strike, science teachers were not sure of the amount by which government had committed to enhance their salaries. UPSTU national chairman Vincent Elong said: “In the letter, they [government’ didn’t commit themselves on how much should be given because they are still sorting out the issue of extra funding from Ministry of Finance and they have told us that by Monday, they will have the final Cabinet meeting to conclude on that.”
For now, UPSTU leaders have informed their members that their strike ends at 11:59 pm on May 19, and that all science teachers should resume work.
MORE ON SCIENCE TEACHERS STRIKE
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).
WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? Shs110 Billion Initially Set Aside to Increase Science Teachers’ Salaries but Money Reportedly ‘Disappeared’