The once vibrant Uganda National Teacher’s Union-UNATU is on the verge of weakening further following a proposal by disgruntled arts and humanities teachers to break away.
Led by Francis Mutesasira, a teacher at Kapeeke Seed School in Kiboga district, the arts teachers accuse UNATU of inefficiency and going in bed with the government instead of fighting for their rights.
The teacher, who accuses UNATU of remaining silent on issues affecting all teachers, notes that establishing an independent union is the last resort given the fact that it’s a constitutional right for a worker to associate in a union of their choice.
The move comes a year after science teachers broke away from UNATU and established the Uganda Professional Science Teachers’ Union-UPSTU on grounds that UNATU was not advocating for their rights.
However, Filbert Baguma, the UNATU Secretary-General has denied the allegations leveled against the union, noting that they have always pushed the government to prioritize the teacher’s welfare at all levels.
Usher Wilson Owere, the chairman general of the National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU), says that with three or more groups opposing each other, the teachers may end up as the ultimate losers.
In a recent interview, James Tweheyo, the former Secretary-General of UNATU said the current leaders in UNATU need to put their ego aside and seek a solution as a disunited union is bad and a disservice to the teachers.