Government has been tasked to explain why teachers in government schools are not teaching yet the term begun on Monday 18th May.
Hon Ekanya Geoffrey (MP Tororo County) rose on a matter of national importance and inquired why children in public schools had not yet started studying, while their counterparts in private schools had resumed.
“Children of the poor are suffering because government schools are closed. As legislators we need to negotiate for the future of our children. What is government doing about this? Are there any steps that have been taken? And what happened to the 10 per cent increment government had promised the teachers?” he asked.
Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, the Government Chief Whip, assured the nation that negotiations are underway with the Uganda National Teachers Union.
“Government has embarked on negotiations with teacher representatives from all over the country. We are indeed concerned and working hard to see that we get a win-win situation” she stressed.
She further informed the house, that as much as it was still the same government that had signed the agreement, there were various factors that had changed.
“Various factors have changed. Even in your homes you plan and sometimes you cannot fall through with your plans. You therefore change your plan with consultation of your household.”
The agreement provided for an increase of teachers’ wages by 50 per cent, payable in three installments: 15 per cent in 2012/2013, 20 per cent 2013/14, and 15 per cent in 2014/15.
As a result of this undertaking, UNATU called off a strike planned in 2011 on the understanding that the Government would honour its commitment of paying the 50 per cent salary increase.
This is the third time that UNATU has called upon teachers to go on strike, because government did not honour its pledge.