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Teachers Get Workers MPs Nod to Strike

According to estimates, up to 279 billion Shillings would be required to enhance implement the proposals. However, Parliament’s Budget Committee recently indicated that the bill is too huge to be catered for within the next budget.
Legislators representing Workers Margaret Rwabushaija and Arinaitwe Rwakajara addressing journalists.

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Worker’s Representatives in Parliament have endorsed a planned strike by teachers saying they will also join the cause if parliament passes the budget without a review of salaries.  

Parliament is scheduled to appropriate the budget for the financial year 2019/2020 on Thursday ahead of the May 31 deadline set by the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 (PFMA).  

But the Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU has already called for an industrial action demanding the enhancement of all teacher salaries to ensure that the least paid teacher earns a monthly wage of 900,000 Shillings.  

In its policy statement to parliament, the Ministry of Public Service proposed a 30 per cent salary enhancement of all public servants. Under the plan, the primary school head teacher’s salaries would be increased from 814,000 to 1 million Shillings while graduate science head teachers for secondary schools would earn 1.6 million Shillings.  

Similarly, head Teachers of secondary schools were proposed to have their salary increased from Shillings 1.6 million to 3 million. According to estimates, up to 279 billion Shillings would be required to enhance implement the proposals.  However, Parliament’s Budget Committee recently indicated that the bill is too huge to be catered for within the next budget.  

But workers representatives Margaret Rwabushaija and Arinaitwe Rwakajara faulted the government for not addressing issues raised by teachers despite an earlier promise to increase salaries in a phased manner. Rwabushaija, a former National Chairperson of UNATU today said that government’s failure to increase teachers’ salaries as promised tantamount to breach of contract.                                                               //Cue in; “kati bwemugobelela...   Cue out...era kati wetuli.”//

Another Workers MP Arinaitwe Rwakajara criticized the manner in which the government has handled the situation saying it has sent messages to workers that the Executive isn’t bothered by their plight.  

//Cue in; “that we are...   Cue out...the salary enhancement.”//     Milton Turyareeba, the Chairman General of Central Organization of Free Trade Unions (COFTU) emphasized that they are giving government up to May 27, 2019, to have the funds catered for in the upcoming national budget in order to avert paralysis in public service.  

//Cue in; “but we can...   Cue out...June of 2018.”//

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