Public service ministry invites striking teachers for talks

The permanent secretary Ministry of Public Service, Ms Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire. PHOTO/ FILE/ COURTESY  

What you need to know:

Ms Bitarakwate’s letter was authored on the same day her counterpart in the Local Government Ministry, Mr Ben Kumumanya wrote instructing all chief administrative officers and town clerks to ask the district education officers, district inspectors of schools, sub county chiefs, parish chiefs and town agents, among others to visit each school and take stock of the teachers present on duty and provide a report on those absent to the ministry of public service with a copy to his ministry by closure of business of June 28, 2022.

The ministry of public service has invited striking teachers for a meeting to forge a way forward as several public schools across the country remain closed.

Uganda National Teacher's Union (UNATU) on June 15 announced the industrial action over a proposed discriminatory salary enhancement in favor of science teachers in government schools.

Subsequently, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire threatened to terminate the contacts of teachers who would not have returned to class by June 24, 2022.

But three days after expiry of Ms Bitarakwate’s deadline, her ministry has invited the teachers who vowed not to go back to class until their issues are addressed, for a meeting on July 1, 2022.

“Reference is made to the ongoing Industrial action by Uganda National Teachers' Union which started on June 15, 2022. This is therefore, to invite you and four of your union executive members for a meeting with Ministry of Public Service on Friday July 1, 2022 at 2pm in the ministry of boardroom,” Ms Bitarakwate said in a June 27 letter addressed to UNATU’s general secretary.

The meeting, according to the permanent secretary, will focus on issues the teachers raised for industrial action.

Ms Bitarakwate’s letter was authored on the same day her counterpart in the Local Government Ministry, Mr Ben Kumumanya wrote instructing all chief administrative officers and town clerks to ask the district education officers, district inspectors of schools, sub county chiefs, parish chiefs and town agents, among others to visit each school and take stock of the teachers present on duty and provide a report on those absent to the ministry of public service with a copy to his ministry by closure of business of June 28, 2022.

"The report will be used by the government to take further action on the matter as stipulated by the government of Uganda Public service standing orders 2021. The purpose of this communication is to forward to you the above matter for your urgent action as instructed accordingly," Mr Kumumanya said in a June 27 letter copied to the Prime Minister and the First Lady who doubles as Minister of Education and sports.

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