Frustration Mounts at Bulera Core: Tutors Threaten Strike After Months Without Pay

Frustration Mounts at Bulera Core: Tutors Threaten Strike After Months Without Pay
Okello Humphreyes at Buloba Core college

Eight months of unpaid wages have pushed 33 tutors at Bulera Core Primary Teachers College in Hoima, Uganda to the brink. Facing mounting financial hardship, they've threatened to strike, demanding immediate action from the government.

The tutors, both teaching and non-teaching staff transferred from other colleges in June 2023, and haven't received a single paycheck since. Their plight is a tale of bureaucratic hurdles and empty promises.

Deputy Principal Katu Florence, one of the affected tutors, paints a grim picture. "Life is a struggle," she says, bitterness lacing her voice. "We can't even afford school fees for our children." Calls to the city authorities for enrollment on the payroll have been met with a blunt "it's full," while the Ministry of Education offers only endless waiting.

John Orele, another tutor, echoes the sentiment. Holidays, a time for family and travel, have become a cruel reminder of their financial woes. "Stuck here due to lack of transport money," he laments, "not even enough to buy some meat for the family. What kind of job is this?"

The college administration shares the tutors' frustration. Principal Humphreys Okello describes their tireless efforts to resolve the issue, approaching both Hoima City and the Ministry of Education. "We've hit a dead end," he sighs. "They keep referring us back and forth."

The situation has deteriorated to the point where the college can barely afford to feed its staff. "We're forced to share student meals," Okello reveals. "Porridge for breakfast, posho and beans for lunch and supper. That's all we can manage." He recalls a heartbreaking incident from the last holiday season – a tutor stranded without the means to return home, forcing Okello to step in and cover the travel costs.

With patience worn thin, the tutors have reached their breaking point. They've threatened to demonstrate, seeking the attention their pleas haven't garnered. "The government seems to listen only to protests," Katu observes. "We've written to the police, seeking permission to demonstrate. We can't tolerate this mistreatment any longer."

While attempts to reach the city town clerk proved unsuccessful, Mayor Brian Kaboyo acknowledged the problem. "We're aware of the issue and are working with the relevant ministries to find a solution," he assured. However, the tutors remain unconvinced, waiting for action rather than empty words. Their future, and the college's ability to function, hangs in the balance.

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