It seems after failure of negotiations between government and the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) it has resorted to threats.
The Government has now ordered all striking teachers to go back to their jobs lest they will be eliminated from the government payroll. These were given a deadline of June 24th all face the wrath of the regime.
The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Service Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire in a letter dated June 22nd pointed out that whereas the union just like any government sector has the right to withdraw their labor over dissatisfaction, they never informed government of this demonstration. They also didn’t exhaust the dispute settlement mechanisms as required by the Public Service Negotiating, Consultative and Dispute Settlement Machinery Act.
“The claim that the strike has been ongoing since 2019 and hence there was no need for a new notice is both fallacious and not legally tenable. Secondly, we have noticed with concern that you and your members have decided to close schools. We wish to advise you that no teacher, whether on strike or not, has a right or justification to close a public school,” reads the letter in part.
The strike declared by UNATU over unequal payment and disharmony among teachers has reached a week as learners in government schools languish at home. This is after the government increased the salaries of the science teachers ignoring those of arts.
According to Bitarakwate, those teachers who are striking can’t have their salaries increased as the budget for the upcoming financial year was already passed.
She advised all those that can’t work under the prevailing circumstances to resign from their jobs.
However, the general secretary of UNATU Filbert Baguna reiterated that the strike will go on and they won’t bow down to anyone’s intimidation.
“Message to the teachers
Teachers are reminded that the purpose of the Industrial Action is to ensure there is fair salary
enhancement across board. There has been no satisfactory feedback from Government and therefore
the only option is to continue with Industrial Action. We can not give up the struggle without any
The intimidation is deliberate and meant to scare you. If you closely analyze the trend of events, you
will realize that every move is calculated. For example, the said letter was circulated by Government agents within a few minutes of us receiving it. The hired social media puppets are being paid to send
contradictory messages calling off the Industrial Action and diverting us from the real cause.
I assure you that the industrial action is within the provisions of the law. Our legal teams are already at
work. STAY FIRM and remain at HOME. Industrial Action continues. If we withstand the pressure,
we shall get to where we want to go. DO NOT GIVE UP!