Government audits Teachers amid Salary Protest to Verify recruitment eligibility

Government audits Teachers amid Salary Protest to Verify recruitment eligibility

Soroti, Uganda – The government has initiated an audit of numerous teachers who recently protested against six months of unpaid salaries, aiming to verify their recruitment eligibility before disbursing overdue payments.

As part of this audit process, the affected teachers are required to submit the minute numbers used for their recruitment to their respective districts and subsequently to the Education Service Commission. Only after these details are verified will the teachers be eligible to receive their unpaid salaries.

Mr. Godfrey Okanya, the Soroti District Principal Human Resource Officer, addressed the teachers on Tuesday, explaining that their salary payments were halted due to audit queries arising from the physical verification of civil servants. “Whoever you see here has an audit query that needs to be handled individually,” Mr. Okanya said.

The meeting with teachers follows protests where educators accused the district of inadequate efforts to pay their salaries. Mr. Okanya stressed the importance of affected teachers providing proof of their appointment under specific minute numbers, emphasizing that the issue is individual rather than institutional. “We don’t have the authority to reinstate these people on the payroll; we just need communication from the service commission,” he explained.

Mr. Okanya mentioned that out of over 7,600 affected staff nationwide, only 900 had been reinstated as of June 2024, pending verification of their eligibility.

Mr. Andrew Ocen, the Chief Administrative Officer, acknowledged previous unsuccessful attempts to resolve the issue and proposed a comprehensive stakeholder engagement meeting to find a lasting solution. “This time, we thought of having a significant stakeholder engagement meeting to find a lasting solution because salary is a right if the documentation is correct,” Mr. Ocen added. He assured that affected teachers would be paid upon verification of their authenticity.

Mr. Moses Etiau, one of the affected teachers, expressed disappointment that the verification exercise has delayed their salaries, causing considerable hardship. He cited a near loss of a colleague due to a lack of funds for medical treatment resulting from unpaid salaries.

Mr. Moses Okwatum, the Secretary of the District Service Commission, committed to the commission’s role in resolving the issue and urged teachers to cooperate during the verification process.

Mr. James Oede, the District Education Officer for Soroti, advised teachers to remain objective and patient, assuring them that the matter is actively being addressed.

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