By Spy Uganda
The Ministry of Public Service Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwire who few days back threatened striking teachers to return to their duty stations by June 24, without fail or risk being scrapped off the payrolls has turned humble and inked a ‘love letter’ to these teachers requesting them to go back into classes as government works on their salary issues.
In her letter dated 30th June 2022 addressed to the Secretary General of Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) Filbert Baguma refering to the various engagements with the leadership of UNATU, she says Government has taken serious consideration of the concerns presented and is working on them.
”UNATU’s acceptance of the engagements with Government has been appreciated because of the spirit of goodwill and nationalism that has been exhibited. In the same spirit, Government has taken serious consideration of the concerns presented,” she writes.
She states that the Government is to implement the approved pay plan concerning all Teachers including Primary School Teachers and employees in the entire Public Service which she says will be undertaken within the medium term.
”The matter has been discussed and consultations escalated to the Executive of Government. In this regard, I hereby convey the commitment of Government to implement the approved pay plan concerning all Teachers including Primary School Teachers and employees in the entire Public Service. This will be undertaken within the medium term,” inks Bitarakwate.
”Therefore, this is to request that in the interest of our learners and in view of the on-going recovery of lost time,” she adds.
The current strike resulted from the government’s decision to increase the pay for science teachers nearly by 300 percent in disregard of their colleagues in arts and humanities. The increment saw the government increase the pay for graduate and grade V science teachers to Shillings 4 million and Shillings 3 million up from Shillings 1.1 million and Shillings 796,000 respectively.
With over 120,000 teachers dropping chalk and refusing to attend lessons, the government hurriedly called for a dialogue meeting over the weekend to find a quick solution. Both President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataaha Museveni attended the meeting.
If it is to be distributed equally across the board to the 169,000 teaching staff, it means that each teacher would get an additional Shillings 46,800/- per month. It should be noted that UNATU has already proposed a salary raise plan for all teachers and other staff. According to UNATU’s draft, secondary school and primary head teachers should receive Shillings 10 million and Shillings 4.5 million respectively.
UNATU is also pushing the government to pay shillings 4.8 million to graduate science teachers and shillings 4.5 million to those teaching arts and humanities. They are also advocating for a Shillings 1.35 million minimum wage for primary school teachers. However, our reporter has also learned that President Museveni has already proposed a minimum pay of Shillings 3.5 million for art teachers.