A letter from The Jobless Brotherhood:
It is increasingly becoming risky and unsafe to stay in Uganda. It is common for plain clothed security personnel to pick any youth or Ugandan apart from MPs from any place any time. Detain you illegally at places of their convenience where friends and relatives can’t access you.
The most recent victim is Norman Tumuhimbise a leader of Jobless brotherhood commonly known as Mpigs. Norman didn’t make it home Thursday night and until now, he has gone missing. However his car remains parked in its’ night parking space. A report has been filed with Kawala Police Station under reference SBREF29/21/08/215 Person missing Norman Tumuhimbise.
You may not agree with what The Jobless brotherhood does but that doesn’t give anyone a right to kidnap another. If undeterred, the appetite for unlawful arrests could knock at your door steps. Let’s stop this by demanding that Norman be presented in courts of law. Lets’ embarrass and shame the officer who made the orders.
We do all this in the best interest of Uganda.
The Leadership of the Teachers’ Union Countrywide unanimously resolved to enter into an industrial action effective 14th May 2015, due to Government’s failure to pay the 10% salary increment for teachers in FY 2015/16 as had been committed in 2011. The industrial action has been on for the past 13 days.
As concerned stakeholders in education, we have been taking lead in negotiations so that the issue at hand is sorted out within the shortest time possible to allow the learners resume normal studies.
In the negotiation meetings chaired by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and attended by several ministers held on 18th and 21st May respectively, no tangible proposals were put forth.
Until yesterday, 25th of May, Government had been adamant in making any formal commitment as regards the 10% salary increment for teachers despite the Union’s efforts in providing practical and viable options/ sources for the increment.
In yesterday’s meeting with the top leadership of the Union, Government made the following commitments;
• 15% salary increment in FY 2016/17
• Teachers SACCO funds to be immediately released to the Apex body of the Teachers’ SACCOs
• No intimidation/ victimization/ harassment of teachers for having participated in the industrial action
• A joint committee comprising Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and UNATU be constituted to identify and advise Government on measures to improve the quality of education.
UNATU being a democratic and member-driven union had to subject the above proposals with the entire teacher leadership countrywide for discussion and resolution at a meeting held on 26th May 2015. Government’s position was presented by Hon. Jim Muhwezi, the Minister of Information and National Guidance. Hon. David Bahati, the Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development was also in attendance.
After a thorough discussion of Government’s proposals, the teacher leaders have resolved to SUSPEND the industrial action on condition that;
i. Government does not breach the implementation of the above commitments within the stipulated time.
ii. No salary increments are effected in FY 2015/16 including the proposed 40% allowance increment for Members’ of Parliament because Government maintains that it has no funds for wage increments.
iii. Government fulfills its commitment of immediately releasing the Teacher SACCO funds to the Apex body of the Teachers’ SACCOs
iv. District officials desist from any form of intimidation, victimization and harassment of teachers in regard to the industrial action
It was further resolved that should government fail to honor their commitment or fail to meet the above conditions, this time round, the Industrial action will resume indefinitely.
Message to the Teachers
UNATU congratulates teachers for the spirited struggle and thanks different support teams upon the successes registered in this industrial action.
The Union hereby clarifies that the Industrial action is not off, but only SUSPENDED to allow Government time to fulfill her commitments. UNATU will continue to monitor the progress of these commitments and by the 30th of September, we expect Government to have included the 15% salary increment in the budget call circular and fully released the said SACCO funds
We therefore call upon all teachers to return to school and resume teaching with effect from Wednesday, 27th May 2015 at 8:00am.
Please note that the industrial action is fully protected by the existing laws and hence no teacher should be intimidated or be subjected to any form of harassment as a result of having participated in the industrial action. Individual teachers and other leaders should report such cases immediately for redress.
“Because we are, the Nation is”
General Secretary – James Tweheyo
I have address yet again inadequate salaries for civil servants in Uganda. This is become a norm and fashion. Once in a while I address this and use different sources to validate the madness of little pay that this loyal subjects and workers in getting measly pay, and sometimes waiting for months on end. So today after seeing yet another NTV Uganda clip. I had to research a bit and here is how the situation looks like. Beginning with the teacher Norbert Agola Opira and his story!
Norbert Agola Opira is a teacher and also a representative at the Uganda National Teachers Union or UNATU. He was credited for his work as a teacher in Uganda with the amount of 10.000 UGX (NTV Footage). His colleges wondered if he had answers since he was their representative. Here is what Norbert Agola Opira says: “They ask me, what are you doing?” (…)”For you are not doing anything, your cutting our money and you’re not helping us” (…)”How can somebody get 15.000? How can we survive? We would never and should never get that money” (NTV Footage). He continues: “This school we’re about 10 teachers close to 15 and another two goats 20/20” (NTV Footage).
Dorothy Baluka who is the Co-Ordinator in Uganda Natonal Teacher Union says: “We have Kabale District, We have Kasese District, we have Serere District, all this districts are being affected with underpayment of salary, no payment of salaries” (…)”We are going to follow up with accounting officers of KCCA to find out what could have been the route cause” (NTV Footage).
This footage came on the 7. July, but the Samuel Eitu the Head of Human Resource in the Ministry of Civil Service on an meeting in Gulu on 30. June 2014 offered this:
“ I though the system had a little problem at the beginning, it should not be an excuse for the teachers and health workers’ salary to be delaying. He says that the accounting officers will have to play their role well to ensure every single individual is paid.” (…) “that with the decentralized payroll system, the chief administrative officers and town clerks will have to ensure that they correct all irregularities that come in regards to payment” (…) ” that even though one person is not paid, the accounting officers should not rest but seek to clarify the matter” (Ugandaradionetwork.com, 2014).
Isaac Newton Ojok the Vice Chairperson of Gulu District: “hat he hopes the ministry keeps to their work of paying the teachers and other civil servants. He noted that it is very unfair for someone who stays in a hard-to-reach area and is teaching genuinely to miss salary for over 5 months”(Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).
Patrick Ojok a tutor at Christ the King Teachers College in Gulu: “he has never got his salary since he was transferred early this year from Lira” (…)”he has been suffering with loans and has failed to meet his bills even though he has been working”(Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).
This report from the meeting found out that in Gulu 146 teachers was not getting their salarys and in Arua there were 350 teachers who we’re yet to get their salary in from different months since January (Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).
While this is happening the Finance Ministry spokesman Jim Mugunga that civil servants would now have to use public institutions to loan money. He is also quoting a letter from the ministry: “The Government has stopped making monthly loan deductions on salaries of public servants, effective July 1. It has withdrawn loan codes from its payroll”. Also saying: “ some financial institutions even made deductions on accounts of public officers who did not have loan obligations,” the document read, without naming the institutions involved” (…)”The ministry does not want to be associated with this fraud.” (Masaba, 2014).
James Tweheyo the spokesman of UNATU saying “their members would have to rely on the mercy of chief administrative officers (CAOs) to recommend them for salary loans” (…)”noted that the assistance of the CAOs would not be effective for teachers because they often get transferred from one district to another, without consultation“ (Masaba, 2014).
Joseph Sewungu the Kalungu West MP says of the matter: “A teacher’s salary is the only security he has to secure a loan. But if they are denied this security, it will be bad for them” (Masaba, 2014).
Daniel Nsibambi the former Stanbic bank spokesperson says: “If the rate of getting loans reduces, economic activities slow down and the economy suffers. The Government is the leading employer. I hope bankers find a way to continue giving out salary loans” (…)” They will find it hard to secure loans since they have to produce evidence and assurance that they will be able to pay back the money” (Masaba, 2014).
I wonder how the tale continues, but for sure, the civil servants and their salaries are sure a hot topic and also something that has to be addressed. Since it’s the livelihood of so many people and I have already had some post in this year. This doesn’t look like its stopping. Time will tell.
Semakula, Joan and Masaba, John – ‘The finance ministry has stopped undertaking salary loan guarantees for public servants’ (05.07.2014), New Vision Uganda – Link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657223-gov-t-stops-guaranteeing-bank-loans.html
UgandaRadioNetwork.com: Govt To Pay Teachers Salary Arrears On June 30th Link: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=64626