The development came through a letter to the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) dated June 22, 2022.
Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the Public Service Ministry Permanent Secretary, noted that teachers just like all other government employees have the right and freedom to withdraw their labor.
However, the union didn’t give the government notice of the strike or exhaust the dispute settlement mechanisms. That is a requirement by the Public Service Negotiating, Consultative and Dispute Settlement Machinery Act.
“The claim that the strike has been ongoing since 2019 and hence there was no need for a new notice is both fallacious and not legally tenable. Secondly, 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,” reads the letter in part.
Teachers kicked off their industrial action last Wednesday to protest what they termed as “discriminatory salary enhancement of the striking teachers”.
UNATU demands equality and harmonization of salary enhancement among teachers of different subjects, support staff, and school administrators.
However, since they passed the budget for the coming financial year already, Bitarakwate disclosed that they cannot address teachers’ demands for a pay rise right now.
“All employed teachers are advised to resume duty at their respective workstations. Any government-employed teacher who does not comply with this call will be regarded as having abandoned duty and resigned from public service,” she wrote.
Furthermore, she stated that those who can’t work under prevailing terms are free to resign from service.
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