UPC joins voices against salary discrimination

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By Mercy Agumenaitwe,

NATIONAL

The Uganda People’s Congress has joined hundreds of thousand voices seeking to an end to discriminatory salary enhancements to teachers in all public schools and education institutions.

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Sharon Arach Oyat, the UPC spokesperson says that salary disparities between science teachers and arts teachers is unfair and leaves them in a state of despair.

“The new FY2022/2023 budget that has come with enhanced salary increments for Scientists and Science Teachers of over 300% with 0% increments to their counter-parts of the Arts Teachers has left them (Arts) confused and in total despair! They feel un-appreciated and discriminated. This is totally unfair and should be discouraged!” She said

Arach made the remarks on Wednesday (June 22) while addressing journalists during the party weekly press briefing at Uganda House in Kampala.

During the conference, UPC noted that teachers and other civil servants have been hardly hit by the current harsh economy and therefore they cannot meet the day to day basic suggesting for equal pay rise of all civil servants.

“UPC acknowledges that workers in different fields across the country cannot meet their daily needs due to harsh economic challenges of but not limited to skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and to make matters worse, the social contract between those being taxed and those levying the taxes is all but non-existent. Services provided by the Government are scant, and when available are generally of poor quality. That means that citizens have to rely on the private sector, which is beyond the means of the vast majority,” UPC said

They suggest that government formulates pro-people policies and establish mechanisms that seek to harmonize salaries for all the workers.

Since June 15, teachers under their Umbrella the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) have been boycotting government move to increase salary for science teachers by 30 per cent and 50 percent leaving out the arts teachers.

This according to the teacher’s union discriminates arts teachers and is contrary the Corrective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between government and UNATU and other stakeholders inwhich government pledged to pay teachers equal payments.

Its against this background that UPC suggests for consultations the implementations of the clauses within the CBA by all institutions in charge of working out salaries and wages structures in the country without causing tremors in the teaching fraternity.

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“This should also take a closer look at other civil servants as well, because they do face similar socio-economic challenges. This can indeed offer a better opportunity to harmonize the salaries and look critically into the conditions and terms of employment for workers in both government and private sectors.” Arach said

Although many voices have come out to join teachers in seeking for equal pay, the government has failed to respond to their grievances.

Many government officials basically from the ministry of education and Sports, public service, finance ministry have been quoted in the media issuing intimidations to teachers who are striking against their poor welfare threatening to sack them from their jobs.

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