Worn out by several failed negotiations, teachers have given government 90 days within which to honour their promise to increase their salaries by 20 percent.
Workers MP Arinaitwe Rwakajara who has joined the teachers to demand for the 20 percent salary increment is disappointed that even before the budget framework paper was drafted they were negotiating with government but the money is nowhere to be seen.
He reveals that they held several meetings through the government negotiation council and its chairman wrote to government, but is still waiting in vain for government response.
In 2011, arising from an industrial action by teachers under UNATU, government held negotiations with teachers and committed itself to a 50% salary increment.
The teachers called off the strike after government promised to implement the increment starting with a 15percent increment in the financial year 2012/2013 which was fulfilled.
Government was then supposed to provide a 20 percent increment in the financial year 2013/2014 which in the budgeting seems to have gone missing.
Owere Wilson, the chairman National Organisation of Trade Unions, says they have been following the budgeting process and testifies that the money had been included. However, he was shocked three days before reading of the budget to know that it had been diverted and all they are getting now is arrogant responses from government.
Nabulya Theopista Ssentongo NRM’s Workers Representative, petitioned Parliament to ensure the increment is implemented or block the budget.
She adds that they have also held meetings with Minister for public service Henry Kajura, Maria Kiwanuka Minister for Finance and the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi about the increment.
The Workers’ MP and teacher’s cries may yet again fall on deaf ears after President Yoweri Museveni this week while in Luwero asked the teachers to shelve their demands for a salary rise.
Nabulya and Independent Workers MP Mary Nalubega says it is unfortunate that government has become adamant.
Speaker Jacob Oulanyah asked the Parliamentary Committee on Education to expeditiously handle the teachers’ petition so that the matter can be included in the budget process to facilitate the debate.