If Terms Are Not Favourable, Leave! Govt Spox Opondo Tells off Striking Teachers

Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director of Uganda Media Centre

Kampala – Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director of Uganda Media Centre has said teachers who are striking should leave if they are not satisfied with the terms of government.

Opondo made the remarks while on NBS’ late night talk show on Thursday.

“No one is forcing the teachers back to class, but all Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) members are holding appointment letters. If you think the terms of government are no longer favourable, please leave,” said Opondo.

“Over the last 30 years, the government has been reviewing the pay structures for public servants and not at any time has the government applied uniformity. When a similar incident happened in public universities, the teaching staff were supported first, then the non-teaching staff. That’s the method government chose to use because its the most applicable, affordable and sustainable,” he added.

He says the only reason arts teachers rise up to strike is because they were jealous.

“I think what provoked the arts teachers to strike is “nugu”. I suspect their strike is being pushed by the “how dare you” attitude when we mark the same books in the staff room,” Opondo castigated.

These statements came at a moment when Non-science teachers in government secondary schools across the country, their primary school counterparts, and tutors in teacher training colleges laid-down their tools demanding unbiased pay.

The strike was sparked when, based on President Museveni’s wish and command, the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija in the FY 2022/23 national budget raised the salary of secondary school teachers of science subjects by between 300 to 300% and left the other teachers gnashing.

Science teachers had laid down their tools since the second school term opened on May 09 demanding fulfillment of the government pledge to enhance their salaries.

The science teachers scored a major victory when the Ministry of Public Service on May 18 indicated that their salaries, together with other of scientists, would be enhanced with effect from July of 2022.

On May 20 the leaders of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union (UPSTU) announced in Kampala that they were ending a strike.

Based on their agreements, the salary for secondary school science teachers, who are degree holders, is expected to increase from Shs1.2 million to Shs4 million while that of diploma science teachers is expected to increase from Shs950,000 to Shs3 million.

Currently, the arts teachers, who are degree holders, earn a monthly salary of  Shs1, 080,000 while diploma holders in secondary schools earn about Shs795,000.

Meanwhile, a primary school teacher in a government school and on pay roll gets Shs500,000 gross salary and a head teacher of a primary school gets Shs700,000 per month.

These salaries are not changing, according to the budget read on June 14. 

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