Kampala — Teachers have given government three months to sign the collective bargaining agreement to enhance their salaries or else they go on strike.
This follows a Public Service negotiating and consultative meeting on June 22 last year where the Public Service Union and government representatives agreed on the salary enhancement of teachers for two financial years beginning with the current financial year.
According to Mr Filbert Baguma, the Uganda National Teachers' Association (Unatu) general secretary, only the head of Public Service, Mr John Mitala, permanent secretaries for Public Service and the Ministry of Labour have since signed the agreement while the Solicitor General, Secretary to the Treasury and Permanent secretary of Local Government are yet to append their signatures on the pact.
"To our dismay, some government representatives have neither signed nor given reasons for not signing, an act that frustrates the negotiation process. This breach of trust shows that government officials not only lack respect for government institutions but also lack genuine concern for service delivery, status of education, the teachers, learners and parents," Mr Baguma said.
"We have exhausted all avenues of negotiation since the beginning of 2018 but some government officials have deliberately frustrated the process. As a result, the union hereby gives a notice of 90 days to the responsible centres to honour what was negotiated and agreed on between government representatives and representatives of Public Service Unions or we go for industrial action effective May 20, 2019," Mr Baguma wrote in the February 19 letter addressed to the Education minister and Ministry of Public Service.
However, Mr Francis Atoke, the solicitor general, yesterday said he was not aware of the agreement between government and the teachers.
Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the secretary to the Treasury, was not available for a comment and Local Government Permanent Secretary, Mr Benjamin Kumumanya did not respond to our repeated calls.
Primary. Once the agreement is signed, Mr Baguma explained in an interview with Daily Monitor that it will see a Grade Three teachers (primary school teachers), who now earn Shs509,671 getting a monthly pay of Shs600,000. Deputy head teachers in primary will have their salary increased from Shs671, 194 to Shs1.1million.
Secondary. Their counterparts in secondary schools with diploma academic documents in arts subjects will receive Shs1.1million from the current Shs534, 080 while teachers in the science discipline have been considered to get Shs1.2million from Shs951, 462.
Graduate teachers. These will earn Shs2.2 million from Shs1,413,226 million as the Arts teachers will see theirs raised from Shs701,341 million to Shs1.7 million. Tutors who are scientists will earn Shs2.3million, Shs2 million for arts while the salary for deputy head teachers (Science) in secondary schools and principal tutors has been maintained at Shs2, 469,931 million. For the arts deputy head teachers in secondary, they will take home Shs2.3 million from Shs1, 555, 256 million.
Head teachers. The Union expects that a head teacher in secondary school will earn Shs2.6 million from the current Shs2 million, principals in certificate awarding institutions such as Primary Teachers Colleges and technical schools are to be paid Shs2.6 milion from Shs2.2 million while diploma awarding institutions such as national teachers colleges, Uganda College of commerce and nursing schools will get Shs3.1 million from Shs2,794, 620m.