An Assessment of the Contribution of Teachers’ Union On Collective Bargaining for Teachers in Selected Public Secondary Schools in Uganda: a case study of Arua district
This study was carried out in selected public secondary schools in Arua District. The study is about an assessment of the contribution of teachers’ union on collective bargaining for teachers in selected public secondary schools in Uganda. The specific objectives included; to establish what teachers’ unions collectively bargain for on behalf of members (teachers), to identify the perceived factors influencing collective bargaining process for teachers, and to find out the broad strengths and weaknesses of conducting collective bargaining for teachers. The study adopted a case study research design. Quantitative and qualitative research approaches were also used. The study population comprised directors, head-teachers, UNATU representatives from the district, and district UNATU members (teachers) from selected secondary schools; totaling to 66 respondents. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview guide and focus group discussions, and was quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. The study findings revealed that demand for salary increment and other benefits, against poor working conditions, grievance procedures (government’s failure to sign), demand for the provision of health and safety among teachers, fair compensation, and employee security; these are the major areas/activities teachers’ unions collectively bargain for on behalf of members (teachers) in Arua District. The study also revealed that the Constitution of Uganda and the Labour Unions Act, collective bargaining procedures and protocols followed by parties involved; the methods and approaches used; attitude of members of teachers’ union and entire management; and political influence; these are the major perceived factors influencing collective bargaining process for teachers in Arua District. The study further revealed that teachers’ union in Arua district tend to counter-balance the monopoly power of employers and seek high wages, better working conditions and a fairer share of the school’s profile; salary increment, legally represent teachers on their behalf, prevents teachers from going on strikes; and promoted teachers’ discipline. These are the major broad strengths and weaknesses of teachers’ union conducting collective bargaining for teachers in Arua District. Basing on the above study findings, it was concluded that teachers’ union has a great influence on collective bargaining for teachers in selected public secondary schools in Arua District. The study recommends that political will is of paramount importance. Politicians and other stakeholders should be willing to support teachers’ union and its goals across in Arua district and Uganda at-large; and areas of further research were suggested.