The government of Uganda has for the first time responded to the nationwide strike announced by teachers directing districts to ensure that schools open for third term as scheduled on Monday 16 September when the teachers’ strike is set to commence.
In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon by the Minister of Education and Sports, Maj. (rtd.) Alupo Jessica Rose Epel, the Chief Administrative Officers through their DEOs and Inspectors of Schools expected to ensure that Head teachers are at school to receive parents and their children.
On Monday, the Uganda National Teachers’ Union-UNATU announced a nationwide strike by teachers starting on Monday next week over their demand for salary increment.
The declaration of the strike follows protracted negotiations between UNATU and government over a pay rise.
However, Education Minister Jessica Alupo has called on teachers not to “sacrifice their professional ethics and abandon their learners at this critical moment.”
She added that “Negotiations between Government and teachers over salary enhancement for teachers continue.”
The issue of salary increment has caused a bit of unease between government and the teachers.
The declaration of the teachers’ strike following the expiry of an ultimatum to to effect a 20 percent pay rise for teachers following earlier negotiations or else they lay down their tools.
Below is the Minister’s statement;
Government has received notice from Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) regarding their declaration of industrial action in respect of the teachers’ unmet salary increment.
Government wishes to clarify to the public as follows:
1. Government directs all Districts to ensure that all Government Schools open for the third term on 16th September 2013.
2. The Chief Administrative Officers through their DEOs and Inspectors of Schools are requested to ensure that all schools are opened as scheduled and Headteachers report to their duty stations to receive parents and their children.
3. All teachers of Uganda are called upon not to sacrifice their professional ethics and abandon their learners at this critical moment.
4. All Boards of Governors, School Management Committees and PTA’s and Parents are urged to ensure that children are taken back to school on Monday 16th September 2013.
5. Negotiations between Government and teachers over salary enhancement for teachers continue.
MAJ. (RTD.) ALUPO JESSICA ROSE EPEL (MP)
MINISTER OF EDUCATION AND SPORTS