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Science teachers call off strike

Elong announces halt to strike

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Science teachers have resolved to halt their industrial action.

Last week, the Uganda Professional Science Teacher’s Union which brings together science teachers in secondary schools and instructors in tertiary institutions mobilized its members to lay down their tools at the start of the reopening of the second term to compel the government to enhance their salaries and improve their working conditions

The teachers note despite continuous promises made by the government in 2017 to date about increasing the salaries of science teachers, date no money has been allocated to this cause.

Despite the cabinet resolving to increase the salaries of the striking teachers from 1.2 million to 4 million Shillings, union officials said the teachers will not return to class until the government commits to the promises in writing.

But on Thursday, addressing journalists at the Media Centre, Vincent Elong, the Chairman of the Union says that following the negotiations with the Ministry of Education, Public service, and the Union representatives they agreed to halt the strike until June 13, 2022.

According to Elong, the government wanted the union to completely call off the strike which they refused on grounds, citing previous promises to address their demands.

He says that they have asked their members to return to school as they wait for the cabinet decision next week.

If approved a graduate science teacher will earn 4 Million Shillings and grade V Teachers 3 million up from 1.1 million shillings and 796,000 Shillings respectively.

Last week, the ICT Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi said that increasing the teachers’ salary to 4 million Shillings and realigning the pay of other scientists in accordance with their grades and specialties will require 735 Billion Shillings.

The Commissioner for Human Resources in the Ministry of Education, Ronnie Kiberu, noted that the government is working on the salary enhancement for all teachers including the arts teachers.  He says that the enhancement will be done in a phased manner.

The teachers also want the government to create a special salary scale for Laboratory Science Technicians who work in school settings. They argue that laboratory technicians in other science filed share a salary scale yet the ones in schools who are required to have the same qualifications as other laboratory technicians do not.

According to the teachers, the lack of a salary scale exposes the technicians to poor pay.

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