The Uganda National Teachers’ Union-UNATU has announced a nationwide strike by teachers starting on Monday next week.
It follows protracted negotiations between UNATU and government over a pay rise.
On 14th June this year, UNATU issued a 90 days ultimatum to government to effect a 20 percent pay rise for teachers following earlier negotiations or else they lay down their tools.
Following the expiry of the ultimatum, a series of meetings have taken place between the union and the inter-ministerial committee led by Jessica Alupo, the minister of education and sports.
After three meetings the teachers’ union accused the committee of lack of willingness to increase the salary.
On Monday morning, UNATU resolved to call a nationwide teachers’ strike. While announcing the strike, James Tweheyo, the UNATU General Secretary said the teachers have had enough of government’s frustration.
He says right from the beginning, they had a feeling that the government was not ready to yield to the demands of the teachers. Tweheyo says the union identified several sources of funds in the budget that could be used to boost the teachers’ pay.
Tweheyo says that as long as the demands of the teachers are not met, the action will continue until government accepts to pay them.
He says it is an insult to see that teachers are frustrated in their attempts to make the country better through quality education. Tweheyo says they were left without any option but to call for the industrial action because it appears government officials came to the negotiation table with a preset mind.
He has urged parents to stop pretending that things are fine when the situation is worsening for the teachers. Tweheyo has asked parents not to send their children to school saying they will not be taught.
Grace Adia, the national representative of secondary schools says the union took long to announce the strike because they were waiting for the mandatory 90 days ultimatum to elapse.
Adia has asked all teachers not to report to school on 16th this month.
She says the action of the teachers is within the law and challenged them not to bow down to intimidation by government agencies and officials.
The Ministry of education has not yet responded to the announcement by the teachers.