Teachers across the country have called off a strike over salary increment and agreed to report to class as schools reopen on Monday, May 27, 2019.
The call was made on Sunday during a meeting between Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu), and President Museveni.
According to a statement from the Uganda Media Centre (UMC), the meeting was also attended by Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Education and Sports Minister, Janet Museveni as well as all the education state ministers.
Teachers across the country on Monday Monday, May 20 began their industrial action after a 90-day ultimatum elapsed, following a letter on February 20, to ministries of Public Service, Finance and Education reminding them of a commitment they made last year to enhance their salaries in 2019/20 financial year.
But last week, State minister for Public Service David Karubanga, warned that whoever does not appear for work on Monday, May 27, will face the law.
“As government we have also failed to fulfill what we promised but both of us need to coordinate for the good of this country,” Karubanga said on Wednesday at the Media Centre.
On Sunday, President Museveni asked the teachers to suspend their industrial action for the whole term and promised to meet them again in late July to brief them on the next course of action.
“The President also appealed to the teachers not to cause problems to the country but rather seek for equitable salary structures for all civil servants through the establishment of a harmonized salaries board to balance salaries of all civil servants,” the UMC statement reads in part.
On the salary increment for scientists in the country, President Museveni defended it saying that some skills are more needed in society than others.
“You see doctors when one falls sick it’s the doctor to treat but not a person like me who is Head of State or a Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
The President also stated that as teachers demand for salary enhancement, they should also discuss the source of the national income where revenue that generates salaries comes from.
“By 1987, the tax collection was Shs.5 billion. This is because there was nothing to tax as the economy had collapsed. In 2018 we collected seventeen thousand billion shillings because we now have factories that are producing goods for sale,’’ he said.
Unatu Secretary General, Filbert Baguma, advised that while government has put priority in sectors like roads, electricity and industry; there is also need to consider education, as it is the backbone of development.