After days of talking tough and issuing threats, government has called for a meeting with teachers under their umbrella, Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) to discuss issues concerning their ongoing industrial action.
Arts teachers laid down their tools starting June 15, over what they termed discriminatory salary enhancements.
Last week, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Catherine Bitarakwate, gave teachers an ultimatum of up to June 30, to return to work or risk getting deleted from government payroll.
Despite the ultimatum which ends on Thursday, teachers have remained resilient and have not shown signs of bowing to government’s threats.
However, in a letter dated June 28, Bitarakwate has written to UNATU, inviting the union’s executive members for a meeting this Friday.
“Reference is made to the ongoing industrial action by Uganda National Teachers Union which started on June 15, 2022. This is therefore to invite you and four of your union executive members for a meeting with the ministry of Public Service on Friday July 1, 2022 at 2:00pm in the ministry boardroom,” reads in part the letter.
Bitarakwate noted that the meeting will focus on issues raised for the industrial action.
The development comes hours after UNATU’s general secretary, Filbert Baguma urged all striking teachers to withstand government’s intimidation and threats and continue with their strike.
“Stay firm, withstand the intimidation. Nobody will delete you because the laws are very clear and our industrial action is legal. Let nobody be intimidated,” Baguma said on Monday.
Baguma also vowed to take government to court should it delete the teachers from payroll.
The strike followed government’s proposal to increase science teachers’ salaries by over 300% while those of arts and primary teachers were not considered.