Uganda National Teachersâ€™ Union-UNATU has organized an ordinary congress meeting to resolve whether or not to continue with their strike over salary increment.
Uganda National Teachers’ Union-UNATU has organized an ordinary congress meeting to resolve whether or not to continue with their strike over salary increment.
Teopista Birungi Mayanja, UNATU General Secretary says the meeting scheduled for October 5th – 7th in Kampala will resolve on among other things whether or not they should indefinitely call off the strike and any other action to be taken to compel government to positively respond to their pleas.
Teachers went on strike demanding for 100% salary increment. They have however temporary suspended the strike to allow room for negotiation with government.
Birungi however acknowledges that their hopes were dashed by the NRM legislators who voted against their demands for salary increment this financial year after they passed the national budget on September 15th.
She says they are using this period to re-organize themselves and form one strong and united front to table their demand for 100% salary increment at the onset of next year’s budgeting cycle come October 2011.
She says the act of subjecting the teachers’ salary increment to a vote in parliament was a clear indication that the issue was not about lack of funds as government claimed but lack of giving priority to education.
She claims this is a clear indication that government has chosen to invest tax payers’ money in luxury, entertainment and other wasteful expenditures rather than invest in the nation’s children by paying their teachers better.
Birungi says it is a shame that government has neither attempted to immediately address the issues and concerns of the teachers nor made any time bound commitments to ameliorate their plight in the context of worsening economic conditions that call for response now not tomorrow.
She says UNATU has not given up and that their industrial action has been postponed to enable them rally support from all the concerned stakeholders including parents, civil society groups, economists and legal advisors among others.