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Uganda: Union demands payment of teachers’ salaries

Over 30,000 teachers across Uganda have not been paid in July. That’s according to a report by the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), one of EI’s national affiliate. The report also points out that some teachers have not been paid since December 2011.


UNATU blames the Ministries of Finance and Public Service for the problem after they acted on a report on ghost teachers compiled by the office of the Auditor General. However, the Ministry of Public Service says that only 10,000 ghost teachers were eliminated from the payroll. It blames school leaders for the ghost teachers’ issue. Ghost teachers are registered staff on the Ministry pay-roll, but not showing up at school to provide education services.

Arrears must be paid

Educators are now demanding 9 billion Ugandan shillings (USh) in arrears, and have given the Government until 30 August to remedy the situation.

UNATU Vice President James Tweheyo condemned the non-payment of salaries, explaining that “schools are suffering, children are suffering. The reason: Many schools don’t have sufficient teachers.

“Even the teachers who are there, many of them are not even on payroll, many don’t have sufficient salaries,” he added. “That’s why our education system is going to the ground.”

EI: Full support

“We fully support our Ugandan colleagues in their struggle for decent wages and work conditions,” underlined EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “We urge national authorities to engage in immediate dialogue with education unions.”

EI promotes, campaigns and fights globally for a teaching profession which is self-confident and supported in acquiring the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to stay ahead in the changing world, he said. It also campaigns that teachers globally are supported by “pay, compensation and conditions of service arrangements which sustain and maintain the lives of its members, their role in society and their status with comparable professions”.

The 2011 Resolution on the Future of the Teaching Profession, adopted at EI 6th World Congress, states that “teachers’ pay, pension schemes, conditions of service and job security should be comparable to those which apply to other professions requiring a similar level of qualifications and should be sufficient to recruit and retain high calibre candidates to the profession and encourage them to remain in the profession”.

It also notes that, without the contribution of teachers and their organisations to the debate about the future of the teaching profession, governments will be undermined in their attempts to develop their education systems. It is essential that teacher organisations play a central role in developing future strategies for teachers.

Video about UNATU’s demands:

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