Uganda’s Education Minister Jessica Alupo on Friday told the country’s Parliament that Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) has formally sought a meeting with her ministry over the ongoing teachers’ strike.
Alupo revealed this after she was tasked by Members of Parliament to explain the way forward on the teachers’ strike and how children who are not attended to are to benefit.
On September 16, Ugandan teachers under their umbrella body UNATU started a nationwide strike as the third academic term was beginning. They are pushing for a 20% salary increment, although government insists there is no money to meet their demands.
Alupo noted that her ministry had received a formal communication from UNATU addressed to her seeking a meeting with the ministry on Monday with a view to finding a comprehensive solution to the ongoing strike.
She asked MPs to continue persuading teachers in their constituencies to report to schools on Monday next week and also tell parents to send their children to school. Alupo told Parliament that the school calendar remains the same and that all schools remain open.
The Minister’s communication comes after Parliament this week failed to find money in the 2013-2014 budget to be re-allocated to the teachers who need 136 billion shillings to realize the 20% salary increment.
The teachers still insist that their sit down strike is legal and justified since government pledged to increase their salaries this financial year but failed to effect it in the National budget.
Government managed to allocate teachers a 4% salary increment this financial year which teachers say was never agreed upon.
Rubaga South MP John Ken Lukyamuzi said he expected government to have expressed concern over what is happening, adding that it is one thing not to have money but another to be concerned about the plight of children in the country.
Lukyamuzi told government to demonstrate that they exist by finding a solution to the striking teachers. He accused government of demonstrating arrogance instead of talking to teachers.