What you need to know:
- They argue that the presidential promise of phased salary enhancement is overdue and their Science counterparts have continued to receive pay which is four times more than theirs (arts teachers)
Teachers of Arts subjects from across the country under their umbrella association; the Uganda Professional Humanities Teachers’ Union (UPHTU) are seeking to meet President Museveni during this two-month-long school holiday and ask him to consider increasing their salaries as well.
They argue that the presidential promise of phased salary enhancement is overdue and their Science counterparts have continued to receive pay which is four times more than theirs (arts teachers).
According to Mr Laban Munywanisa, the President of UPHTU, the current salary for Arts teachers cannot enable them to sustain their families and do other development projects.
“We formed UPHTU to have a common platform as teachers of humanities that can negotiate with the government over the issues we are facing. Humanities teachers have not been well represented at the national level, we, therefore, wish to use this common voice to reach out to the government,” he said during the first UPHTU annual general meeting held in Kampala on Saturday.
“As a Union, we have constituted a committee to have a one-on-one talk with the President and among others, this committee will explain to the President the reasons why Arts subjects are as important as Sciences and the need for uniform salaries,” he added.
During the last financial year, the President directed salary increments for Science teachers to Shs4.2m for Degree holders and Shs2.2m for Diploma holders while their Arts counterparts have continued to earn between Shs700,000 and Shs1.2m
The Secretary general of UPHTU, Mr Francis Mutesasira reiterated that the union will use all the possible avenues to push for the better well-being of its members, emphasizing that if the negotiation window fails, they will be left with no option but to lay down their tools of work.
"We are starting with negotiations but if they fail to pay off, we shall be forced to resort to extreme mechanisms including striking to hold the relevant authorities accountable," he said.
Started in April last year, UPHTU was registered by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) in May 2023. The Union is also recognised by the Ministry of Education and Sports and Ministry of Public Services which enabled it to take part in the activities of World Teachers day 2023.
The Union representation consists of; secondary humanities teachers, humanities tutors and lecturers at National Teachers Colleges (NTC) and Uganda College of Commerce as well as Nsamizi School of Social Development.