By Anne Mugisa and Abdulkarim Ssengendo
Education ministers have asked teachers to return to class as the teachers’ union insists on a sit-down strike today (Monday).
Education minister Jessica Alupo said it is unfair for the teachers to stay out of class since negotiations for the pay rise are still ongoing. District authorities, she said, have been asked to register those on duty today.
Alupo said the inter-ministerial technical committee appointed for the purpose presents its report to President Yoweri Museveni today.
The Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), however, insists on a 90- day strike claiming that the negotiations ended without results for the teachers.
On Friday, UNATU refused to endorse the report vowing to write their minority report.
The union is also angry that the ministry wants them to move countrywide and convince their members that there is no money for their salary increment this financial year.
On Sunday, Alupo said UNATU worked with the committee and only dissociated themselves from the report after realising that there is no money in other budgetary areas.
The minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. Chrysostom Muyingo, appealed to teachers to open for what he described as the most important school term.
“Negotiations for a pay rise are continuing. A ministerial committee (Finance and Public Service) was instituted to handle this issue,” Muyingo stated.
“I appeal to all teachers in the country to report to their respective schools and teach. We acknowledge the demand for a pay rise by the teachers and the commitment made by Government to that effect.
However, a sailor doesn’t abandon a ship in the deep waters. This is what the teachers will be doing when they abandon pupils, in form of a strike, during this critical promotional term.
He asked the teachers to be patient for a little while as the matter is being handled.
MINISTER’S APPEAL TO TEACHERS NATIONWIDE AS NEW TERM BEGINS
As the new and most important term begins tomorrow [today], I appeal to all teachers in the country to report to their respective schools and teach.
We acknowledge the demand for a pay rise by the teachers and the commitment made by Government to that effect. However, a sailor doesn’t abandon a ship in the deep waters. This is what the teachers will be doing when they abandon pupils, in form of a strike, during this critical promotional term.
The negotiations for a pay rise are continuing at all levels of Government. A ministerial committee (MOF, MOES and MOPS) was instituted to handle this issue and before long some good news will come out. It’s a matter of time.
We therefore appeal to the teachers to be patience for a little while and be of good cheers as this matter is being handled. There has been a lot of despondence being preached and government being painted in bad light as insensitive. This will not be helpful in this delicate matter.
Let’s have the country and the innocent students at heart as we solve this matter.
HON. DR JC MUYINGO (MP)
MINISTER OF STATE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION