The leadership of the Teachers’ Union has unanimously ratified the resolution of the Standing Committee that sat May 23, 2022 to enter into an industrial action effective today, Wednesday June 15, 2022.
This follows lack of a satisfactory feedback on issues pertaining to teachers’ salary increment across the board for FY2022/23.
According to Filbert Baguma, the Uganda National Teacher’s Union (UNATU) Secretary General, a notification was given to Government on May 23, 2022 expressing their intention to resume industrial action “if they insist on implementing discriminatory salary enhancements for teachers as opposed to honoring the commitments made in our Collective Bargaining Agreement signed on 22nd June, 2018.”
Baguma noted that no positive response has been received from Government.
“It is important to note that our Industrial Action that started in 2019 over the same issue was only suspended pending the full implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” he said.
In a June 14 letter to all UNATU members, Baguma told them not to step at school because the industrial action against salary discrimination has resumed.
“Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) informs all members in every school and education institution that the industrial action against discriminatory salary enhancements begins on Wednesday 15th June, 2022. STAY HOME AND MOBILISE OTHERS TO ACT. All teachers Matter and therefore deserve an increment!,” the letter reads.
Earlier, Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Sports, said the ministry was discussing UNATU’s concerns internally but urged teachers to desist from strikes.
However, Baguma said it was unfortunate that teachers’ issues particularly those concerning salary increment have turned into a ‘song’.
According to him, almost every Financial Year, teachers have to remind Government about the commitments earlier made.
“Do teachers really matter to this nation? Are the commitments made by Government mere ‘Board room gimmicks’ meant to silence teachers and foil any plans for industrial action? As teachers, we considered the CBA a landmark event and even applauded Government for ‘formalizing’ the commitments. To our dismay, this turned out to be a media gimmick/ publicity stunt because four years down the road. Government has totally ignored our agreements and continued to draw salary enhancement plans for Civil Servants including teachers as they so wish despite several reminders. Why does this country continue to mock teachers and push them further into depression? This is totally unacceptable to us,” he said.
He added: “The public should therefore be aware that effective June 15, 2022, teachers will not be present in the classrooms until Government honours the salary commitments made to them.”
He said they have unanimously agreed that plans to resume the industrial action continues until government agrees to implement the CBA without discrimination.
The Minister for Public Service, Muruli Mukasa, while addressing a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre in May following the Allied Health Professionals and nurses strike over pay, said salary enhancement for public servants would be done in a phased manner, depending on availability of funds.
He said scientists including science teachers, would benefit first.