By Ivan Mwine
The government of Uganda has through the Ministry of Public Service succumbed to pressure from teachers of arts subjects in public schools who staged a strike early last month, demanding for salary increment.
The teachers, through their umbrella body Uganda National Teachers Trade Union (UNATU), announced the strike after government announced an increase in the salaries of teachers who teach science subjects, without considering the arts teachers.
However, following a series of discussions and dialogue between officials from the Ministry of Education and UNATU, the government has since expressed interest to enhance salaries for not only teachers but also other public servants as soon as possible.
This was confirmed in a leaked letter from the Ministry of Public Service dated June 30th, 2022 from the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Catherine Birakwate Musinguzi to Filbert Bates Baguma, the General Secretary NOTU, which highlights government’s commitment to increase teachers’ salaries.
The letter titled ‘TEACHERS SALARY ENHACEMENT’, copied to among others Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni, the Minister of Education and Sports, reads in part thus;
This is to refer to yours UNATU/MOPS/05/022 dated 25th May, 2022 and the various engagements with the leadership of UNATU regarding the above matter.
UNATU’s acceptance of engagements with Government has been appreciated because of the spirit of goodwill and nationalism that has been exhibited. In the same spirit, Government has taken serious consideration of the concerns presented.
The matter has been discussed and consultations escalated to the Executive of Government. In this regard, I hereby convey the commitment of Government to implement the approved pay plan concerning all Teachers including Primary School Teachers and employees in the entire Public Service. This will be undertaken within the medium term.
Therefore, this is to request that in the interest of our learners and in view of the on-going recovery of lost time, your esteemed and valued teaching fraternity resumes teaching at the earliest time.”