A proposal that the available funds meant for the increment of salaries for secondary school teachers starting July 2022 be redistributed so that both science and arts teachers have their pay enhanced would create a situation where each gets an insignificant raise.
Unatu announced their countrywide industrial action on June 15, a day after Finance Minister Matia Kasaija read the national budget for the 2022-23 Financial Year.
In his budget reading, Kasaija announced that science teachers and other scientists would get huge salary increments starting July 2022, something which made arts teachers go on strike protesting salary enhancement disparities.
During negotiations, some were suggesting that to address the salary enhancement disparities and the huge gap that would be created by the increment as it is, there was need to equally divide the amount that is available among both arts and science teachers.
According to Dennis Mugimba, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Education and Sports, only Shs95bn is available to the docket for the enhancement of teachers’ salaries in the 2022-23 financial year.
With government employing 169,000 secondary school teachers (teaching staff), each teacher would have his or her salary enhanced by Shs46,800 every month for the entire financial year. This would make the enhancement less significant even when it achieves equality for similar qualification.
It is not clear if this is still part of the negotiations and if it will form part of the issues that will be discussed during a meeting between Unatu leaders and officials from the office of the president and public service ministry this week.
But Unatu secretary general Filbert Bates Baguma has since asked government to present a supplementary budget for consideration before parliament.
“Let’s have a committee to make sure salaries are streamlined and let the government look for a supplementary. This idea of saying you will chase the teachers as if you are chasing chicken thieves won’t work,” Baguma said on June 28.
Meanwhile, 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 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).
A group of MPs have also openly supported the arts teachers’ strike and told Museveni’s government to present a supplementary budget to Parliament with the aim of increasing salaries. (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).
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).