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Uganda Teachers to Begin Nationwide Strike Monday

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni

The African Examiner,

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni

The general secretary of Uganda’s National Teachers Union (UNATU) says members of the group will begin a nationwide strike Monday to press home their labor demands.

Uganda’s primary and secondary school teachers are demanding a 20 percent [$40] pay increase and better working conditions.  A primary teacher in Uganda earns about $120 per month, while a secondary teacher makes about $200.

Union leader James Tweheyo says public school teachers will not return to teaching in the classrooms until their demands are met, despite attempts by government officials to intimidate them.

“The teachers made a resolution that today, Monday, they will not be in school teaching, and we made it very clear to everybody after giving a notice to government of 90 days as required by law,” said Tweheyo.  “Government has come out with some statements that schools should be open.  Yes schools will open, but we are saying a school without teachers is only a building, and we cannot pretend that things are going on well.”

Tweheyo says the teachers group will resist any attempt by government officials to intimidate or harass the striking teachers.

“We expect some government officials to visit some schools to intimidate some teachers, but the teachers have resolved, and even if teachers are harassed to [go] to schools I am sure without doubt these teachers are not teaching and parents should not be deceived that teachers are teaching.  Any teacher who goes to school will actually be pretending,” said Tweheyo./VOA

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