Government has received an ultimatum from the General Secretary, Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) to the effect that the Teachers will take industrial action with effect from Monday 18th May 2015.
This coincides with the opening of the Schools for the second term.
First of all, I would like state and put it on the record that Government appreciates and commends the work done by teachers.
As it may be recalled in a meeting chaired by H. E. President Yoweri Museveni in August 2011, between Government and the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), it was agreed that 50 percent of salary enhancement be awarded to teachers in a phased manner in three fiscal years, effective financial year 2012/2013.
In fulfilling this pledge, Government has so far paid 40 percent of this commitment.
This increment has been enjoyed by all the teachers and put the teacher at a reasonably higher pay as compared to other public officers in the same salary scale.
For instance, the lowest paid teacher earns UGX. 408,135 per month compared to other public officers in the same salary scale U7, who earn UGX. 268,143 per month.
Government therefore appeals to teachers to appreciate the progress so far made in fulfilling the pledge.
Apart from the 50 percent salary enhancement above, the teachers raised other issues and Government has responded positively as follows:
- Teachers SACCO
Government committed Shs 25 bn to the teachers SACCO over a 5 years and this commitment is being implemented. Government is addressing remaining issues regarding the management of the Fund.
- Remittance of Capitation Grants
The Capitation Grants have been increased from Ushs. 7,000 to 10,000 per child effective FY2015/2016, which is 3rd term of this calendar year.
- Allowances to science teachers
An allowance of 30% of the basic salary is being paid to all science teachers throughout the country
- Allowances to Teachers in Hard to Reach areas
A 30% hardship allowance of the basic salary had been paid since from 1st July 2010 to all those affected.
- Salary arrears
Government has paid all the verified salary arrears for all public officers including teachers. In addition, in order to address the issues of delays, Government has decentralized salary payments to Ministries, Departments and Local Governments.
- Operationalisation of the Teachers’ Scheme of Service
Government has started implementing the Teachers Scheme of Service which among other things has increased promotional ladders.
- Construction of Teachers houses in Schools
Government is implementing the construction of teachers’ houses in a phased manner and money is sent directly to the districts under the School Facilities Grant.
- Operationalisation of the collective bargaining agreement
Government is in the final stages of fully operationalising the Public Service National Negotiating and Consultative mechanism.
- Recruitment of more Teachers to improve the Teacher to Pupil ratio
Recruitment is ongoing both at the National and District levels. In Primary schools, the National average teacher to pupil ratio is now at 1:53 from 1:58 in 2008.
Due to the unique financial constraints, it has not been possible to implement the remaining 10 percent in the financial year 2015/2016, but in the F2016/2017 this will be paid.
I would also like to mention that due these financial constraints; there will be no salary increment for all other public servants.
Therefore, I appeal to all teachers and everybody in the country to appreciate the situation we are in and keep our schools running and the children learning.
Government remains ready to continue engaging the teachers’ Union to address this and other teachers’ concerns.
Teachers and the Public are therefore informed that schools shall officially open on Monday 18th May 2015 as scheduled, and those that are already open, shall continue.
Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda
Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda
16th May 2015