Science teachers in Bunyoro Region have resolved to join their counterparts in other parts of the country in an industrial action over government’s failure to fulfill its pledges of enhancing their salary.
The teachers vow to lay down their tools come May 9, 2022, when schools reopen officially countrywide in line with the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union (UPSTU) National Executive Council resolution passed on April 21, 2022.
Under their umbrella association, UPSTU, the teachers in Bunyoro demand that government must honour its pledge to enhance their salary as put forward in the 2018/19 Financial Year when Shs98b was earmarked for the cause.
UPSTU brings together all post-primary science teachers, National Teachers College lecturers, Primary Teachers College tutors and laboratory technicians.
The teachers wonder why the government enhanced salary for other scientists leaving science teachers out of the planned increment yet all scientists are trained by teachers.
The Bunyoro region science teachers’ coordinator, Mr Eliot Nasasira, vows that if the government turns a deaf ear to effect its pledge in the few remaining days to the start of the second academic term, the teachers will by no means fail to lay down their tools.
Mr Herbert Asiimwe, the UPSTU Vice Chairman for Bunyoro region, says the current economic crunch is biting them harder as government keeps being adamant to increase their salary as per the pledge.
Ms Vennah Muliindwa, a science teacher in Bunyoro, calls for solidarity among colleagues to fight for their right to salary enhancement arguing that they are always exposed to and bodily affected by chemicals while conducting practical experiments to their students in laboratories.
Cabinet resolved that effective the FY 2022/23, graduate science teachers should earn an enhanced Shs4m while diploma holders’ salary should be enhanced to Shs3m.
To that effect, during the FY 2022/23 budgeting process, the government allocated Shs400b to enhance all scientists’ salary with Shs111b allocated to science teachers.
However, the teachers say in lieu of receiving their enhanced salary, the money disappeared from the budget framework paper.