Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU the umbrella of teachers in the county is seeking to block the Global Partnership for Education-GPE from extending a grant of US $ 100 million to government.
UNATU has written to the GPE board to make it a precondition for government to address their concerns before releasing the grant in November this year. The US $ 100 million is meant for infrastructural development and early childhood education programs. James Tweheyo, the UNATU general secretary is optimistic that their petition will be considered because they are also represented on the GPE board.
While addressing teachers in Mbarara, Tweheyo appealed to parliament not to accept the recent budget estimates tabled before parliament in their current form without addressing the teacher’s plight saying they, are ready to make the legislators political careers extremely difficult.
Tweheyo revealed that their plans to meet other trade unions to map out a strategy of action against government for its refusal to honor its pledge to increase the teacher’s pay have been finalized. Teachers in Mbarara have welcomed the decision by UNATO to block the US $ 100m GPE grant.
Rosemary Kabagambe, a member of UNATU in Mbarara says it is time for them to find other avenues to compel parliament to consider allocating extra funds to the teacher’s salary budget. Mark Mbabazi, a secondary teacher in Mbarara says he is ready to mobilize students at his school to influence their parents not to support politicians who are not willing to address their cause. On August 28th 2011, government promised to increase the teacher’s pay in phases over the next three years starting 2012. However, this didn’t happen.
Government has instead allocated 25 billion shillings in this financial year’s budget to kick start the teachers’ SACCO to help them set up projects to boost their incomes.