Teachers in Uganda are starting their indefinite strike today, for a pay rise, which they have long been owed. Like so many teachers in the global South, those in Uganda are very low paid. Primary school teachers earn just over $100 a month with secondary teachers getting about twice that.

For teachers in Uganda, striking is especially difficult, since they face a government which has a history of oppression against protesters and trade unionists. Under the 27 year rule of President Yoweri Museveni, 49 protesters have been killed in the country betwen 2009 adnd 2011 alone, and many others imprisoned, injured or tortured. However the leader of the Ugandan National Teachers Union (UNATU) says that even if teachers in some areas are forced to go into school, they will refuse to teach.

Although the teachers have given the statutory 90 day warning of their action, the government has made no move to pay the teachers the promised increase. On the contrary, they have threatened to fire teachers who go on strike. MPs however have  rejected the education budget and demanded that government find the money to pay the teachers. As well as throwing its country, including education, open to privatisation with the help of the World Bank and other agencies, the government is also notable for corruption - so much so that aid has been withdrawn from it. MPs say that the government could find the money to pay the teachers from expenses, like those for travel and conferences according to one report.

To read more background go here.