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Uganda: Teachers warn government about mass action

published 2 November 2011 updated 8 November 2011

The Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), one of EI’s national affiliates, has warned the Government the next phase of their strike will include parents and supporters, should national authorities continue harassing teacher unionists through its security agents.

UNATU denounces the governmental use of a militaristic approach punishing participants in the industrial action begun on July 27, but temporarily called off.

Addressing a press conference at the capital city Kampala, UNATU Secretary General and EI’s Executive Board member, Teopista Birungi Mayanja, highlighted the previous action was suspended to enable educators to consult and rally support from concerned citizens and activists, so that the strike could turn into a true societal action.

Ms. Mayanja said: “We want the government to understand that the deplorable intimidation methods against our members will not intimidate us”.

She detailed the intimidation methods used on teachers, including arrests, forced hand-over of offices, transfers, writing of apology letters and verbal abuses. She indicated educators have given the government until the end of November to meet their demands.

EI supports its affiliate’s struggle to help respect educators’ human and trade union rights, and urge the Ugandan Government to engage in collective bargaining with unions.