Science teachers in Arua City join National call for Industrial action

todayMay 9, 2022

By: Godwin Abedican

The Science teachers in Arua city on Monday 09th May 2022, joined their colleagues in a nationwide industrial action to lay down their tools following the governments delay to enhance their salaries. The teachers under their umbrella body Uganda Professional Teachers Union (UPSTU) have resolved unanimously not to enter class until the government responds to the promises made.
This industrial action comes at a time and day when the schools across the country are reopening for the start of the second term following the first term holidays.
Following a recent meeting the members had with the Ministry of Public Service, there were resolutions reached at to ensure that the teachers would get a rise in their pay gradually, something according to the teachers will be used to buy time and when the budget process is done and they are not catered for, they may not get again.

According to the regional coordinator for UPSTU West Nile region Angutoko Paulino Jacinto, they have unanimously agreed not to enter class as government paid teachers until their demands are met. He says their action is meant to continue to engage the government on matters concerning the welfare of science teachers in the country. “The president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has been publically making pronouncements on the desire of the government to give  a better pay to scientists who work in education, something that has awaken the science teachers that they are demanding for to be fulfilled as promised” he said.
According to him, the government had promised to pay the science teachers four million shillings and three million shillings per month for graduate and diploma teachers respectively and yet the ministry wants to pay the teachers 2.2 million and 1.4 million for graduate and diploma teachers respectively, something as teachers they do not agree with.

According to the National secretary of the Union, Mugaiga Aaron Mugambo, their actions are meant to continue until government comes out clearly on their payments. He says that following a meeting they held, their points of agreement were considered by the government as only proposals. “We agreed on several issues but later they referred to them as proposals in their reply letter while calling us to call off the industrial action and these are things they can change any time,” he said.
Even though some science teachers were available during lesson hours in some schools, most of them were privately hired science teachers. Some school Head teachers whose schools have been affected greatly by the industrial action have called for the government to listen to the plea of the teachers while urging the teachers to also be considerate because after all the actions they will still come to class and may not cover the time lost even if their monies are paid, leaving the learners as the greatest losers in the whole saga.

COVER PHOTO: Angutoko Jacinto Coordinator UPSTU West Nile with some of the Science teachers at Arua Golf Course By Godwin Abedican

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