KAMPALA– Arts teachers under their Umbrella association Uganda National Teacher’s Union (UNATU) have agreed to end the strike and go back to class bringing to an end the three-week industrial action over pay raise.
This was after government maintained its stance of no pay for arts teachers this financial year.
“We have a strategy and no one should disrupt us. We are aware of the issues and we are committed to handling them. Therefore, my advice to the teachers is that they should go back and teach,” President Yoweri Museveni said.
The President was addressing UNATU leaders in their regional clusters at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds today (Monday).
President Museveni who was in the company of First Lady and Education minister Janet Museveni told teachers that government is aware of the issues and is committed to handling them in a phased manner since there is no money to increase their salaries at once.
“The Arts teachers insist that we should use the available resources to improve salaries across the board, whilst this is possible; it does not solve the salary issue. It is okumemerera (sprinkling), where everyone will get a little and then next year everyone strikes” Museveni posted on his twitter handle
Addressing teachers via social media soon after the meeting, UNATU secretary general Filbert Baguma said government had maintained its earlier position of not increasing salaries for arts teachers.
He said as leaders, they engaged in a lengthy meeting and decided to return to class to save the innocent learners who need the support of teachers as they continue engaging the government on the issue of salary raise.
“I want to encourage you not to get heart-broken. We know what you are going through. It is what the leaders are going through,” Baguma said, while emphasizing that the leaders had not been bribed.
The current impasse resulted from the government’s decision to increase the pay for science teachers nearly by 300 percent in total disregard of the arts teachers.
The increment saw the government increase the pay for graduate and grade V science teachers to Shs4 million and Shs3 million respectively up from Shs1.1 million and Shs796,000 respectively.