Kampala. Teachers countrywide under their umbrella body, the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu), have given government a 90-day ultimatum to honour its pledge for teachers’ pay rise.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, the Unatu officials said government had promised to reflect the 10 per cent increment in the 20152016 Budget but has not done.
“It has come to our attention that the financial budget does not include the promised teachers’ 10 per cent salary increment,” said Mr James Tweheyo, the Unatu general secretary.
Mr Tweheyo said the government is deliberately ignoring the teachers’ 10 per cent salary increment in the 201516 Budget, warning that this will impact on their morale.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija on Wednesday tabled a Shs18.3 trillion budget before Parliament for 20152016 financial year, an increment from last year’s Shs15.5 trillion.
According to the proposed budget, the ministry of Education was allocated Shs1.9 trillion, which is a reduction from the 20142015 Budget of Shs2 trillion.
Mr Tweheyo wondered why government does not prioritise teachers’ salaries.
“This is an unfortunate situation for the country and our learners because the quality of our education continues to decline and the morale of our teachers who are the drivers of quality education is at all time low,” he said.
He gave government 90 days within which to include the increment in the Budget.
Mr Tweheyo did not specify what kind of action would be taken.
Education minister Jessica Alupo when contacted by this newspaper declined to comment saying she was not aware of Unatu’s stand.
In 2011, teachers downed their tools demanding 100 per cent salary rise, but the strike was called off after then Premier Amama Mbabazi threatened they would be deleted from the payroll. Mr Mbabazi then said government had committed to a salary enhancement plan over a three-year period, starting with the financial year 20122013 which would see the teachers’ salaries moved up by 50 per cent. In the 201213 financial year, the government increased salaries for primary school teachers by 15 per cent, and science teachers in post primary education and training institutions received a 30 per cent increase in wages. The government, however, promised a 20 per cent pay raise for teachers last year and another 15 per cent next fiscal year.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor