The general secretary of the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), Filbert Baguma, has urged striking teachers to remain focused and continue with the industrial action until their demands are met.
Baguma was addressing teachers soon after meeting with Vice President Jessica Alupo on Wednesday afternoon to discuss matters concerning the industrial action and teachers’ demands.
“I thank you for being committed to ‘our’ cause. Today we had a meeting with vice-president Alupo who was delegated by the President. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the divide among teachers. They appreciated our concern and promised to take the message to the President,” Baguma said.
The meeting chaired by VP Alupo and attended by among others the Public Service minister Muruli Mukasa, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Catherine Birakwate, Workers’ MPs, leadership of National Trade Unions (NATU) and UNATU sought to end the impasse created by the teachers’ industrial action.
The Vice President expressed the views and request from the President, to have all schools re-opened and all learners accessing education, especially in light of the fact that learners lost two years of education due to COVID-19.
The meeting, after lengthy discussion, agreed to have urgent continued interaction and engagement on the issues therein.
“In the meantime, negotiation will remain open, industrial action continues, all sorts of intimidations must stop and, therefore, we want to request you to remain calm as you have been, stay strong and committed until we realise a solution to our challenge that we presented to government,” Baguma said.
The Vice President promised to report back to the President, as the leadership of NATU holds further internal meetings on the same.
“I want to assure you that we shall negotiate until the last minute and we are hopeful we shall come out winners,” Baguma said.
The Arts teachers laid down their tools on June 15, protesting what they termed as selective salary enhancement. This followed the budget reading where the salary of science teachers was increased by over 300 per cent while their arts counterparts received nothing.