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Uganda: Teachers strike for quality education

In recent months, EI affiliate Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) has been leading demands for major improvements in the welfare of teachers within the country.

The Union has called on the Ugandan government to incrementally increase teachers’ salaries by 100 per cent in the financial year 2011-2012. UNATU’s other demands include a collective bargaining agreement, the designation of a responsible agency for teachers’ issues, and public service pay reform within the country.

On 28 July, UNATU representatives met with Uganda's President, Yoweri Museveni, who convened an inter-ministerial committee to address the Union’s demands. After a month of negotiations,talks failed when the committee could only propose a 44 per cent pay increase, instead of the 100 per cent demanded by union members.

As a result of this failure to reach agreement, Ugandan teachers have decided to go out on strike from 5 September, coinciding with the beginning of the new school year, in order to seek a full response from the government to the issues they have raised.

UNATU General Secretary and EI Executive Board member, Teopista Birungi, said: “A teachers’ pay rise is not just about us. It is about the children that are put in our care and the parents who pay taxes to run our government. It is about the future of our nation’s children. This shouldn’t be up for negotiation.”

She went on to add how much UNATU appreciated “the support from the people’s representatives in Parliament, civil society organisations, the media and the entire Ugandan community, in the struggle for quality public education.”

EI has launched an Urgent Action Appeal to make pressure on the Ugandan Government to enter into meaningful negotiations on teacher pay rise.

To join the appeal please click here



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