Budget Committee In Entebbe Retreat To Consider Teachers' Pay Rise

2088 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The budget committee of Parliament is in a closed-door retreat in Entebbe to identify non-priority expenditures in the 2011/2012 budget and re-allocate the money towards settling the teachers’ salary demands.

The budget committee of Parliament is in a closed-door retreat in Entebbe to identify non-priority expenditures in the 2011/2012 budget and re-allocate the money towards settling the teachers’ salary demands.

The meeting is expected to end on Thursday this week in time for MPs to finalize debate on the 2011/2012 budget estimates and have it passed by Friday. The budget committee, chaired by Kyamuswa MP, Tim Lwanga, is composed of all 12 sessional committees of parliament, their clerks and other parliamentary budget technocrats.

Before leaving for Entebbe on Monday, Tim Lwanga denied reports that his committee was going to identify money to sort out the teachers’ salary enhancement demand, even when his colleagues like Bernabas Tinkasiimire insisted that the teachers’ salary demand was more urgent than those of other civil servants.

But education minister, Jessica Alupo on Tuesday insisted there was no money to enhance the teachers’ salary in this financial year. She said that her government would only add 15 percent to the teachers’ salary in the next financial year.

//Cue In: “What we are saying as government….”
Cue Out: “……we welcome the move entirely.”//

Alupo said accepting to only enhance teachers’ salary would provoke strikes from other civil servants as well.

She explained that health workers, local government civil servants, Makerere University lecturers and support staff of public universities, whom she said are even paid lower money than the teachers, are some of the other civil servants who also need their salaries enhanced.

Alupo said that in the meantime, government would continue to engage the teachers in more negotiations for an agreed position.