Sheema South MP Prof Dickens Elijah Mushemeza has left teachers in his home district shocked after telling them they are too poor to afford a strike over delayed salary increment.
As we reported recently, President Museveni’s government has approved salary enhancements for health professionals starting July 2022. (Read Story Here).
But science teachers in secondary schools have been advised to wait for subsequent financial years. (Read Story Here).
Vowing not to listen to any government excuses, secondary school science teachers have announced a strike over government’s failure to increase their salaries. (Read Story Here).
But speaking at Kitagata Town Council headquarters recently, Mushemeza, a former university professor, told teachers that they are too poor, needy and vulnerable and should shun their plans to strike over delayed salary increment.
Speaking in Runyankore language, Prof Mushemeza told teachers not to put Museveni under pressure since the economy was not doing well.
“Science teachers, the president promised. There is slow economic growth; the economy is doing badly. It is not that he he lied to you. Don’t put the president on pressure over ‘science money,” said the NRM MP.
“Be patient, the president who promised you a salary increment will fulfill his pledge as the budget allows.”
Mushemeza also explained why he thinks poor teachers should not go on strike.
“You cannot afford a strike. Sometimes it is bad not to tell people the truth. Can poor or vulnerable person afford a strike? How will you manage it? A strike is difficult to sustain. What will you eat if you go on strike for three days? Therefore, teachers, do not go on strike because you cannot afford industrial action,” he told the teachers.
“The truth is bitter. They may not whip you for going on strike but you will not sustain the strike. If you go home for two weeks because you are striking, what will you eat? There are many people who need jobs, and you are here threatening to go on strike; won’t you be fired and replaced with other people?”
Listen to the audio in Runyankore:
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.
Now, it has been confirmed that government will increase salaries for some health sector workers. (Read Story Here).
This has angered some government employees.
Besides, secondary school science teachers, also threatening to go on strike are allied health professionals. (Read Story Here).