Gov’t Makes U-Turn On Firing Striking Art Teachers

By Uganda Online Media

Kampala: The government has made a U-turn on orders to fire striking art Teachers.

On June 22, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Service Catherine Bitarakwate issued a statement threatening to fire striking teachers if they refuse to return to class by June 24.

“All Government employed teachers are advised to resume duty at their respective work stations by 24 June 2022 without fail. Any Government employed Teachers who do not comply with this call will be regarded as having abandoned duty and resigned from the Public Service in accordance with Section A-n (17) of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2021,” Bitarakwate ordered.

“The Teachers who are not willing to work under the prevailing terms and conditions are free to withdraw their labour as provided for under Public Service Standing Orders. Those who do not agree to any of the above are advised to seek legal redress in Courts of law. By copy of this letter, the Chief Administrative Officers and Town Clerks are called upon to take stock of the Teachers present and submit absent Teachers by the 30th June 2022 for eventual removal from the payroll.”

Following the threats, UNATU leaders advised their members not to be threatened with the warning and to carry on with the strike, emphasizing that their action is legally backed.

However, in what seems to be a turn of events, Bitarakwate has written to the striking teachers through their umbrella body of the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) inviting them for an urgent meeting to seek a way forward over their industrial action that kicked off two weeks ago.

According to the letter, the striking teachers have been invited to a meeting to be held on 1st July at the Ministry of Public service.

“Reference is made to the ongoing Industrial Action by Uganda National Teachers Union which started on I5th June 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 1st July 2022 at 2:00 pm in the Ministry Boardroom. The meeting will focus on issues raised for Industrial Action,” the letter reads in part.

Earlier this month, Arts teachers under UNATU laid down tools protesting what they referred to as discriminatory salary increments that favour their counterparts, science teachers, who had their salaries increased by 300 per cent.

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