Government has rejected a suggestion by leaders of the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu) who wanted the huge salary increment for science teachers to be cancelled until enough funds have been secured to raise pay for all teachers, including those facilitating learning of arts (humanities) subjects in secondary schools, and all primary school teachers.
During negotiations that followed the declaration of their industrial action, Unatu leaders, including chairperson Zadok Tumuhimbise and secretary general Filbert Bates Baguma, asked government to either share the money available for increment of science teachers among all teachers, arts and science.
Unatu has insisted that it will rally their members not to call off the strike until either both arts and science teachers have been paid well or the salaries of both categories remain the same.
But this proposal has been rejected by the government, with Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa saying doing so would tantamount to sabotage.
Minister Muruli Mukasa said government has decided to raise salaries for the ‘immediately needed’ employees in the key sectors — and it seems that is not about to change.
“It amounts to sabotage for anybody to adamantly refuse to resume work unless everybody is paid well now or everybody is democratically underpaid,” the minister wrote to Unatu chairperson Tumuhimbise on June 30.
“No. It is better that the immediately needed are paid adequately so that those crucial sectors are stabilized and continue expanding. Therefore, fellow Teachers go back to work.”
See how much money each secondary school teacher would have his or her salary increased by if government equally divided the available Shs95bn instead of only using it to increase science teachers’ salaries HERE.
Meanwhile, Janet Kataaha Museveni’s Education Ministry has shortlisted 17,000 secondary school teachers for government payroll jobs. (See Full List Here).
You can read more stories from our extensive coverage of 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).