The Ugandan Government has insisted that it will increase the teachers’ salary in the next financial year.
This comes days after teachers went on an eight days strike. The teachers were protesting government failure to increase their salaries by 20 percent as earlier on agreed.
Jessica Alupo, Minister of Education and Sports, says the government still remains committed to increasing teachers’ salaries. She, however, says the salaries will only be increased in the next financial year. Alupo says currently the government does not have enough resources to effect the 20 percent salary increment.
She however also thanks teachers for resuming lessons after the eight days of industrial action. She has called for patience from teachers as they negotiate with UNATU over the same increment.
Despite the declaration that salaries will be increased next year, the teachers’ union insists that government must act now.
Pedison Bbaale, the Deputy Secretary General of UNATU, says the battle for the 20 percent salary increment for this year is still on.
Bbaale insists that if by November 10 they have not received the increment, teachers will resume the industrial action indefinitely.
The Deputy Secretary General says there is actually no point in negotiating with government because the issue of the increment was settled in 2011.
Bbaale believes the just concluded Education Sector review has been a waste of time if it fails to address the issue of teachers’ salary increment.
UNATU and Inter-Ministerial Committee set up to resolve the salary impasse with the teachers resumed negotiations on Wednesday. However, no information has emerged on the progress of the discussion. The team is expected to find a common ground on 10th next month.
During the last National Executive Committee of UNATU, the secretariat presented three alternatives.
The first would be 20 percent increment this financial year, the second alternative would be to combine 20 percent and 15 percent and pay it all at once 2014/2015 financial year and the last option was swapping 20 percent with 15 percent.
However, the NEC rejected the proposal of the secretariat and said only negotiation must centre on the 20 percent and or swapping the 15 percent with 20.
James Tweheyo, the Secretary General of the Union, says based on the decision of the Executive Committee, any deviation from the position by the government team will result into immediate resumption of the industrial action.