Government has maintained it’s stance that it will not bow to the pressures of teachers around the country, who are currently on a sit down strike over poor remuneration.
Vice President Jessica Alupo today reechoed the message of President Yoweri Museveni, Education Minister Janet Museveni and yesterday’s directives from the public service ministry, that the government does not have enough money to cater for the demands of the teachers.
“While the Government is committed to better the salaries of public servants, the demands for a salary enhancement, however cannot be addressed in the financial year 2022/23 and government has been very clear to teachers on this position” she said in a statement.
“Teachers are therefore called upon to appreciate and understand the position of Government,” Alupo said
The teachers through the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), say that their strike – now in it’s second week – is about what they deem discriminatory salary enhancement favouring science teachers, and also failure by Government to honour the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2018.
The primary and secondary school teachers have since been joined by their colleagues in government tertiary institutions, who also announced their industrial action this week.
In her statement, VP Alupo warned UNATU against closing schools during their strike, which she says is illegal.
“Government has also noted with concern that UNATU membership has closed the schools. My thinking is that no teacher, whether on strike or not, has the legal right or justification to close a public school without the concurrence of the Government of Uganda, because we work as partners” she said.
Alupo, who is a former Minister of Education herself, also encouraged willing teachers to return to class, and warned the UNATU leadership against threatening such teachers.
“We have learnt that some teachers who are willing to continue with the noble duty of educating our learners are being harassed and intimidated by a section which is bent on continuing to disrupt teaching and learning in schools.”
The government said will remain available to engage with all well-meaning Ugandans including teachers with the view to making their living conditions better.
“I would like to request all teachers to return to their normal duties and understand that Government values them and the service they are rendering to the country, as guided by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Service in her letter Ref. ADM/218/264/01 of 22nd June, 2022.”
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