News / Africa

Uganda Teachers to Begin Nationwide Strike Monday

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey
The general secretary of Uganda’s National Teachers Union (UNATU) says members of the group will begin a nationwide strike Monday to press home their labor demands.

Uganda’s primary and secondary school teachers are demanding a 20 percent [$40] pay increase and better working conditions.  A primary teacher in Uganda earns about $120 per month, while a secondary teacher makes about $200.

Union leader James Tweheyo says public school teachers will not return to teaching in the classrooms until their demands are met, despite attempts by government officials to intimidate them.

“The teachers made a resolution that today, Monday, they will not be in school teaching, and we made it very clear to everybody after giving a notice to government of 90 days as required by law,” said Tweheyo.  “Government has come out with some statements that schools should be open.  Yes schools will open, but we are saying a school without teachers is only a building, and we cannot pretend that things are going on well.”

Tweheyo says the teachers group will resist any attempt by government officials to intimidate or harass the striking teachers.

“We expect some government officials to visit some schools to intimidate some teachers, but the teachers have resolved, and even if teachers are harassed to [go] to schools I am sure without doubt these teachers are not teaching and parents should not be deceived that teachers are teaching.  Any teacher who goes to school will actually be pretending,” said Tweheyo.

UNATU representatives recently met with President Yoweri Museveni in the government’s attempt to resolve teachers' demands.  Mr. Museveni appointed Jessica Alupo to head a commission of technocrats to find funds in the budget to meet the teachers demands.

Tweheyo says there is a stalemate between the teachers and the commission, after UNATU representatives pointed out areas in the budget where funds could be used to increase teachers pay.

“We pointed out money which was meant for luxuries for ministers like entertainment, foreign trips and they want this money for end of year parties.  We told them to make adjustments and reduce the cost of spending [in] those areas to give to the teachers, [but] this team was adamant and that is the point of dispute,” said Tweheyo.

But Tweheyo says the Museveni administration has refused to meet the teachers' demands, despite its repeated appeals to call off the strike.  The government has threatened to fire striking teachers.

“Of course we know that government can do anything and we are prepared for a backlash, including an attempt to chase the teachers away from the job,” said Tweheyo.  “We have said the government should act because government holds the key, it has the money and tomorrow if it is done, we are ready to settle down to class and teach these children to our best.”
Clottey interview with James Tweheyo, UNATU general secretary
Clottey interview with James Tweheyo, UNATU general secretaryi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid