Uganda invites arts teachers for dialogue to end strike

Uganda, Kabarole District, Student teachers in the library at Fort Portal Teacher Training College.

The Ugandan government has invited officials from the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) for negotiations to resolve a strike that has paralyzed learning in public schools for two weeks.

The invitation is a retreat from an earlier threat to fire the teachers unless they resumed their duties.

FILE PHOTO: Student teachers in the library at Fort Portal Teacher Training College. /CFP

The talks are set to take place on Friday a day after Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Services Catherine Bitarakwate had previously set a deadline for the teachers to resume their duties.

Education Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza has also invited the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) for a meeting to be chaired by Vice President Jessica Alupo on Wednesday to discuss ways of ending the strike.

More than 100,000 arts teachers went on strike mid this month after UNATU accused authorities of a discriminatory salary raise.

The government had allocated a more than 300 percent pay increment for science teachers in the budget for the coming financial year. But arts and humanities teachers were not included.

UNATU Secretary-General Filbert Baguma confirmed the officials will attend the talks on Wednesday.

“For us, we laid down our issues before them. Our position remains the same. We will go and listen to them since they say they are willing to address these issues.”

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)