With just a few weeks to the start of the first term of the 2023 school calendar, arts secondary and primary school teachers have put government on notice, threatening to go on strike if their salaries are not increased significantly.
While the Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni government increased salaries of secondary school science teachers by 300 per cent, the pay for arts teachers and their primary school counterparts was not raised, creating divisions in the education sector.
While President Museveni and his government managed to convince arts teachers, under the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu), to end the strike, the discontent remained. Government promised teachers that their salaries will be increased alongside other civil servants’ in subsequent financial years in a phased manner.
The issue seemed to have been temporarily settled, with Gen Museveni even telling Unatu leaders and all arts teachers not to pressure him. But the teachers have now resurrected their demand for a fair increment to address the salary disparities created by discriminatory increment.
Already, Unatu, led by its secretary general Filbert Baguma, has written to the Ministry of Public Service informing government of the union’s decision to rally all teachers to lay down their tools when first term opens next month if money meant for the increment of their salaries is not included in the budget for the 2023-24 financial year.
“Proposals to postpone the enhancement of salaries of these categories of teachers to a later date is very unfair and demotivates them even more. The best way forward is for the government to expedite salary raise,” wrote Baguma.
“If the government is indeed serious about promoting quality education and also values the contribution of all teachers, the enhancement of salaries for primary and secondary arts teachers should be given priority.”
Museveni’s government increased salaries of science teachers, health workers and several other scientists as well as officials in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), starting July 2022. (See Full Salary Structure Showing How Much Each Government Employee Category Earns Every Month HERE).
The List of 25 Most Highly Paid Government Employees is Here