Science teachers in Uganda under their umbrella body Uganda Professional Science teachers Union (UPSTU) have suspended their sit-down strike to give government a grace period of up to June 13th, 2022 to finalize the payment process to increase their salaries as promised by the President.
Science teachers went on strike after schools reopened on May 9, demanding a salary increment that was promised by president Museveni.
However, the Union’s general secretary, Aaron Mugaiga told journalists today that they had agreed to resume work after the union’s National Executive Committee met and agreed to call off the strike with effect from today at 11:59 pm.
“Members of our National Executive Council sat today and looked into the letter we received from the Ministry of Public Services reaffirming the government’s commitment to address our concerns. Members then recommended that we suspend the strike from today up to June 13 to give the government a chance to implement what it has put into writing,” Mugaiga said.
In the same vain, the union’s National Chairperson, Vincent Elong also added that although the government, “In their letter, they didn’t commit themselves on how much should be given because they are still sorting out the issue of extra funding from the ministry of finance and they have told us that by Monday, they will have the final Cabinet meeting to conclude on that. We have informed our members countrywide to resume work.”
Addressing journalists on Tuesday this week, Finance Ministry permanent secretary Ramathan Ggoobi said that the science teachers will also be catered for in the Budget.
“Science teachers will also be catered for in this first phase of increments. This has been provided for,” Ggoobi said.
However, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija warned science teachers and other civil servants against protests noting that protesting will not solve anything.
“Striking is not a solution because you will not create more resources by striking. The best thing is to come and we discuss, we show you, because there is a program,” Kasaija said.
Kasaija added that salary enhancement will be done gradually for all categories of public servants.
The teachers want the Public Service ministry to implement the presidential directive and cabinet resolutions of August 24, 2021, of enhancing salaries for all scientists, including science teachers, to Shs.4 million for the newly-appointed degree holders and Shs. 3 million for diploma holders.
By Kobusiinge Monica