Filbert Baguma, the General Secretary of the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), has categorically stated that a document circulating, calling for a strike by teachers, is entirely fake. Addressing the media, Baguma urged teachers to disregard the document and report to work as scheduled on February 5th, 2024, for the beginning of the First Term.
During his statement, Baguma emphasized that the document did not originate from UNATU. He expressed doubts about its authenticity, highlighting the prevalence of advanced technology that can be exploited to create deceptive materials.
“That document is not from us; it is just a fabricated piece. When we release an official document, we ensure it carries our official stamp and signature,” Baguma clarified.
Additionally, Baguma revealed ongoing discussions with the Minister of Education, Janet Kataha Museveni, concerning various issues affecting teachers. He reported having written to the Ministry, which elicited a response assigning someone to facilitate a meeting. Baguma urged teachers to return to their classrooms while the union continues to engage with the government in pursuit of resolutions.
The document in question calls on teachers to abstain from reporting to work until an official announcement is made. It is noteworthy that Uganda witnessed a teachers’ strike on June 15, 2022, which originally stemmed from salary discrepancies. However, after almost four weeks of protests, the UNATU leadership, following discussions with President Museveni and the Minister of Education, decided to call off the strike on July 4, 2022.
Explaining this decision, Baguma justified the suspension of the industrial action as a means to safeguard the education and well-being of the students. UNATU prioritizes avoiding further disruptions to their learning and ensuring that teachers themselves are not adversely affected.
As UNATU challenges the authenticity of the document urging a new strike, the union remains focused on constructive engagement with the government to improve teachers’ welfare and address their concerns effectively.