Members of the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) who are on their fifth day of industrial action have asked leaders on various level of government to focus on having teachers’ conditions improved instead of intimidating them
The Union’s general secretary Filbert Baguma told press today that they have received reports that Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), DISOs and others officers from various districts have started threatening teachers to quit their industrial action or face repercussions.
“Nobody should intimidate teachers who are on a lawful cause; those trying do so I advise them to stop because such threats will make this situation worse,” Baguma said.
Baguma also called upon all head teachers not to allow students in schools during this period because if anything happens to students, it will be the head teachers to be held accountable.
“As has been done for other sectors, even money for the teachers should be found because we are not willing to return back to classes on empty promises as we have been doing,” Baguma added
He asked government officials to engage them physically instead of using the media to threaten them.
Usher Wilson Owere, chairman National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) asked any of the teachers that receives any threats from government officials to report to them so that legal measures can be taken.
Turyareeba Milton, the Chairman Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions (COFTU) assured the teachers that they have a legal team on standby to defend any teacher who will be attacked in the course of exercising their rights.
On government claims that it is prioritizing infrastructure first, Turyamureeba said the problem has not been lack of resources but how they are allocated
“The government needs to first address the issue of corruption because funds are there but they end up being misappropriated and swindled by corrupt officials”
On Monday this week as some schools opened for the second term.
The rest of the teachers however are still striking seeking salary increment as government had promised in the bargaining agreement with them and other civil servants.