Thousands of government-paid teachers are in dire straits after going two months without receiving their salaries.
A teacher at one of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools in Wakiso district, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Daily Monitor yesterday that hundreds of them had received their last salary in June.
The teacher, who also said his secondary school counterparts were not spared, added that ‘some… have since been paid after complaining, but the majority have yet to be paid’. [their arrears].”
Other teachers who spoke to Monitor expressed their frustration at not having the money to send their own children back to school. They asked the government to speed up the process of clearing their arrears.
“The reasons they give us for not paying our salaries are not clear. They keep saying the system is broken and promising to pay us but to no avail,” said one of the teachers, adding, “We are stuck with kids at home because we don’t have money to pay their fees. The economy is doing very badly and we don’t know what to do.
Another teacher in Mbarara town said nearly 50 teachers had not been paid since July and had raised their concerns with government officials.
Mr. Filbert Baguma, General Secretary of the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu), confirmed that teachers had lodged complaints. He added that Unatu was asked to compile a list of affected teachers from various districts.
Mr. Baguma called on the government to fix the problem and release teachers’ salaries as the majority are in schools but not teaching because they are demoralized.
“We understand this may not be intentional, but we are concerned about service delivery in schools. We cannot go two months without pay and we expect him to deliver,” Baguma said.
Mr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, Minister of State for Higher Education, said Monitor yesterday that they received assurances from the Department of Finance that the situation will be corrected.
“It’s not just the teachers who haven’t received their salaries for two months now,” he revealed, adding:
“Even the government-sponsored students have not yet received their stipends, but the Ministry of Finance is dealing with them…they will all be paid as soon as possible.”
Genesis of the problem
In July, the Ministry of Civil Service informed all civil servants that their July salaries were going to be delayed from the publication of the new salary structures for the 2022/2023 financial year. This was after the government began to implement a new salary structure that met the promised increase for all scientists in the country.
As a result, some people missed salaries due to anomalies resulting from the published structure.
Unatu claims that some teachers have been cut from the payroll. Elsewhere, other reports indicate that some art teachers received the salary of science teachers and vice versa.
Mr. Alfred Malinga, the head of the Wakiso district administration, Monitor in an interview last week that they had issues with the salary system. However, he was quick to add that anomalies have since been rectified. Mr. Malinga revealed that not only teachers were affected, but some staff from other professions were affected as well.
Mr. Jim Mugunga, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Finance, said, “As per Ministry of Finance policy, duly documented employees who serve the government, including teachers, are entitled to salaries, wages and other entitlements related. It is a right and it is not optional and therefore we never reduce them under any circumstances. »
He added: “It is possible that in some cases new teachers could have been brought on board before all the paperwork and related processes had been completed…this has already been discouraged as it goes against the sector planning and budgeting. I don’t know which category of teachers is affected…what I can confirm is that the Ministry of Finance ensures that the salaries incurred have priority over the resources available, without exception.