UNATU is not being serious about teachers' plight on calling off the strike at this material time. One needs to be a visitor in Uganda to do just that. It is sad that in 2001 we formed Makerere University Private Students' Parents' Association (MUPRISPA) with one of the objectives to see Government put in place an Education loan scheme. President Museveni in his election Manifesto of 2001 promised that his Government would implement an educational loan scheme! What became a fact is that some few students got payment for their education by State House and today, 2a decade after, the educational loan scheme has never been implemented. You may wonder how many in Government have their children affected by the current primary teachers’ strike, and it is for that reason among others that teachers should remain on strike until Government gets to think about them as worthy having a pay that can see them as entities in this corruption ridden country. It is sad that Government machinery keeps on talking about ghosts here and there, instead of having concrete administrative machinery, they are just being fooled by politicians who have taken money and keep reaping the same money simply for gossip and singing NRM praises. President Museveni is well aware that many who are in administration in his Government went to Government schools which his Government has not seen as a priority to promote and they are rotting away, as private developers mint millions in education. The respect we had for teachers is long gone. It is his time that has seen the teaching profession deteriorate to the extent that teachers opt to ride motor cycles for a living. This is unacceptable. The NRM Government must wake up and take the providers of services like education, health to mention a few as entities. Our parents never failed to pay fees while they taught, and today, looks like many in Government given the luxury they enjoy, they don’t know that the salaries of these people cannot buy a worthy living; if they know, then it is unfortunate that they are not bothered.
For UNATU, the sensible thing to do given that teachers don’t have morale is to keep their tools down. It is no big deal if children can start holidays now, meanwhile Government organizes itself given that it had for long taken them that cheap and now it is only a strike that will get results. How can a teacher teach for shs 200,000 when University education is in millions? Are they supposed to steal to get the money or what or that their children are not entitled? The Electoral Commission now wants over 150bn for just useless LC1 elections. Go down and see whether a part from land deals whether these councils are doing anything worthy that money which one values more than the teachers. Why can’t we have people electing in a simple way for these local persons? What is the big deal? Why can’t Government come up with a strategy to see the civil servants who languish in poverty due to its ill advised policies that can see them enjoy as reasonable members of society? If things are that bad, let them get a quota each for the basics of life at prices half what is ruling. Let their children be sure of education in University and other Institutions of Higher learning on different terms or even have Students loans. There MUST be a way the Government of President Museveni has to get to terms will the ills the people of Uganda go through. Those in Audit MUST establish the source of those who are doing business from tax payer resources which money should have been put to areas like paying the civil servants better. We simply cannot continue with the inequalities NRM has created and hope for peace.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
TEACHERS TEMPORARILY CALL OFF STRIKE1
By Gerald Bareebe
Posted Saturday, July 30 2011 at 00:00
The national Executive of the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) have agreed to temporarily call off the sit down strike to allow room for negotiations with the government over their salary demands.
Teachers across the country are demanding that government doubles their salaries. The strike entered a third Friday.
UNATU vice chairman James Tweheyo told Kfm, that they agreed to temporarily call off the strike after they received a communication from government that the Ministry of Finance was ready to review their salary structure with a possible increment.
“We are suspending this strike up to August 28,” Mr Tweheyo said. “We hope that by that time we shall have had enough negotiations with the government and we will be able to report back to our members the results of the negotiations.
”He said negotiations with government officials about their salary increment will start on Monday. “Negotiations are yet to start but we have been promised that we shall meet government officials on Monday next week. We are also meeting officials from the ministry of Finance later today (yesterday).”
Union official held a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday at which he asked the teachers to be mindful of national priorities. The meeting came amidst strikes by teachers in government aided primary and secondary school.
A primary school teacher currently earns a gross salary of Shs270, 000 while secondary school earns a gross salary of Shs450, 000.
Government last year gave teachers a 30 per cent salary increase but this was subjected to a 30 per cent Pay As You Earn tax.