The RX Radio presenter Olive Najjuma has faulted the government for intensifying strikes in the public sector whenever it bows to the pressure created by strikes.
She made the comments in reference to the arts teachers' sit-down strike declared by the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) after science teachers' salaries in government schools were enhanced whereas theirs were not.
Despite talks with President Museveni last Saturday, UNATU stuck to its position demanding a pay raise just like the government did for their science colleagues.
Yesterday, however, the government issued a statement ordering arts teachers to return to work today, June 24, 2022, or be fired because their stand-off contradicts Section A-n (17) of the Uganda Public Service orders 2021.
James Onen, also known as Fatboy, reasoned that conceding to the demands of a certain group, for instance, science teachers creates more strikes by showing that the language of negotiation with the government is striking.
Olive added, “actually the government has created fertile grounds for strikes, and it always ends up badging to the demands of those striking. Remember the medical interns, medical doctors, and now, science teachers, and the list goes on. So every disgruntled public sector knows that if they want the government to act on their demands, they lay down working tools.”
She argued that much as the science teachers demanded a pay rise earlier than their arts comrades, the decision to give one section of the teachers a pay rise when they teach for the same time was unreasonable.
But also, Fatboy argued that, in all fairness, science and arts are not the same things. He said that sciences, unlike arts, are more important in development and innovation, thus justifying the enhancement of science teachers' salaries.
Still, his co-host Olive explained that while both arts and science teachers will teach for the same 40 minutes, arts teachers will earn a salary of 796,000 while their Science counterparts will be earning 4.5 million.
"The salary disparity is crazy. The government needs to think about the work relations between the two. And am not saying that they should earn the same, but as per the increments we have seen, they have a 300 percent raise higher than their colleagues. Any employee anywhere in the world would be displeased,” she argued.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.