KAMPALA — President Museveni has directed the striking Arts teachers to return to class, insisting that the government at the moment can’t increase their salaries.
According to the President, while government acknowledges the issues raised by the Arts teachers, they are also aware of salary issues from other workers; the army, Police officers, and others, who are equally important to the growth and development of the country.
“We have provided a position as government and pledged to competitively remunerate workers guided by a science-led strategy. This does not mean we have forgotten others, but we are choosing to prioritise the few and others can come later. We must finish one problem at a time,” the President tweeted after meeting the teachers at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Monday, July 4, 2022.
The Arts teachers told the President that government should use the available resources to improve salaries across the board.
“Whilst this is possible, it does not solve the salary issue. It is okumemerera (sprinkling), where everyone will get a little, and then next year everyone strikes,” he tweeted.
“We have a strategy and no one should disrupt us. We are aware of the issues and we are committed to handling them. Therefore, my advice to the teachers is that they should go back and teach,” he added.
The arts teachers through the umbrella, Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), laid down their tools on June 15 over a pay rise paralyzing teaching and learning in most government schools, and affected schools remain closed.
Since then, UNATU has held a number of meetings with the top leadership of the government and line ministries to try and find a solution to the issue that has paralyzed learning in most government schools.
The most recent meeting was convened by Vice President Jessica Alupo last week, where she appealed to teachers to call off their strike as negotiations continue to enable learners to resume studies.
The Vice President also assured UNATU leadership that attended the meeting that the resolutions would be shared with President Yoweri Museveni for guidance.