UNATU not ready to call off strike despite gov't 48 hour's ultimatum

Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU, has refused to be swayed by government threats to halt its strike in 48 hours.

UNATU not ready to call off strike despite gov't 48 hour's ultimatum
Story by Mukama Evart \

Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU, has refused to be swayed by government threats to halt its strike in 48 hours.

On Wednesday,the Public Service Ministry Permanent Secretary, Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire wrote a letter to the teacher’s body, directing an immediate stop to their industrial action.

PS Bitarakwate said the union is acting illegally because they neither gave the government notice of the strike nor exhausted the dispute settlement mechanisms as required by the public service negotiating, consultative and dispute settlement Machinery Act.  

She stated that failure for teachers to return by June 24 would automatically mean they have resigned from duty.

“The claim that the strike had been ongoing since 2019 and hence there was no need for a new notice is both fallacious and not legally tenable. We have noticed with concern that you and your members have decided to close schools. We wish to advise you that no teacher; whether on strike or not, has a right or justification to close a public school," the June 22, 2022 letter reads in part. 

However, Filbert Baguma, the UNATU secretary-general, is not shaken. In his response, Baguma says they received the letter but it changes nothing. 

He says the union is acting within the law and will not stop their spirited strike but instead reply to the PS maintaining their stand.


"These are the tricks they have been using. We are going to respond to their letter soon but the central point is that our strike is still ongoing up to when our concerns are addressed. Teachers should remain firm. This time around we are not going to bow to any pressure or intimidation," said Baguma.  

Baguma says until the government gives an equitable salary for all teachers across the board they will not stop.

 The government allocated the ministry of education Shillings 95 billion in the current budget for the enhancement of teachers’ salaries.  

If it is to be distributed equally across the board to the 169, 000 teaching staff, it means that each teacher would get an additional Shillings 46,800/- per month. 

 According to UNATU’s draft, secondary school and primary head teachers should receive Shillings 10 million and Shillings 4.5 million respectively. 

UNATU is also pushing the government to pay shillings 4.8 million to graduate science teachers and shillings 4.5 million to those teaching arts and humanities.



Kagwirawo