From threatening to fire and arrest them, the government seems to have realized that this is a war they cannot win against determined teachers who are striking because of discriminatory remuneration.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary-General Uganda Teachers Union –Kampala signed by Alex Kakooza, the Principal Private Secretary to H.E the Vice President Jessica Alupo wants to resolve the unending strike by the teachers.
“I have been requested to invite you for a meeting with H.E the Vice President to discuss ways of ending the ongoing strike by the teachers’’, reads in part the invitation letter. The letter has been copied to the Ministers of; Education, Security, Public service, Finance –Planning and Economic Development.
While the striking teachers’ leadership has agreed to meet with the vice president, they insist that their industrial action is still ongoing until their grievances are met. The striking teachers are those that teach arts subjects and are demanding a salary increment that matches that accorded to science teachers.
Recently the government gave all striking teachers in government-aided schools a two-day ultimatum to resume their duties or forget about their jobs. Catherine Bitarakwate, the Ministry of Public Service permanent secretary, in a letter to the general secretary of UNATU said anyone who will not have returned to work by Friday last week will be fired.
But today, speaking to the media, Bitarakwate said they have listened to their demands and now they are ready to sit at the table and negotiate how to solve this impasse.
In the last budget speech read last week, the finance minister announced that sh900b had been earmarked for the enhancement of salaries for scientists, including science teachers.