SLTU Gives Government 21-Day Ultimatum to Address Burning Concerns


By Amin Kef-Ranger

This medium was made to understand that the Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU) issued a 21-day notice to the Government of Sierra Leone effective Friday, 27th May, 2022 after which, if their concerns are not addressed they will resort to an industrial strike action.

According to them, the strike action is premised on the apparent negligence and lack of seriousness of the Employers panel of the Teaching Service Trade Group Negotiating Council (TSTGNC).

They further stated that the said panel at the inaugural meeting of Council on the 5th May 2022 asked for a break of three weeks to look into the Collective Agreement proposals put forward by the Teachers Panel of the SLTU.

According to them, the long break was accepted under difficult circumstances by the Teachers Panel but at the second meeting of the Negotiating Council on the 26th May 2022, the Employees or Teachers Panel was dismayed at the irritating response from the Employers.

It complained that it was disappointing that they failed to make any offer relating to the proposal on salaries and allowances for Teachers, considering that Teachers are the drivers for the attainment of the Government’s Free Quality Education Programme.

The Union stated that after nationwide consultations with the Union’s membership in relation to the above, they have been mandated to issue a 21-day Strike Notice to the Employers to address the outstanding issues, failing which the Union would resort to an industrial action at the expiry of the said notice.

The public Notice was issued by the Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU) to the Government of Sierra Leone

It also lamented over poor conditions of service with some believing that the President’s promises to improve teachers welfare have not been met even though the Government wants the public to believe otherwise.

The said aggrieved Union also claimed that Government is continuously paying lip service and does not truly seem committed to resolving the issue of teachers’ welfare and wage harmonization across the board.

It is alleged that recently, an Eid Mubarak message to teachers by the Minister for Basic Education asking them to get back into the classrooms was met with wide condemnation across the teaching community because of the disrespectful tone in the Minister’s voice.

Further learnt was that 90% of teachers remain opposed to the Government’s reluctance to handle the aforementioned related issues.

On his part, the Minister of Basic Education, David Moinina Sengeh said lack of information is being used by some people with good intentions and others with not so good intentions to incite others.

The Minister said there is a Wages Commission Bill in Parliament now that will deal with wider harmonization but for now he wants to mention two things: that Government has recruited, expanded salaries and reassessed more teachers in 3 years than the preceding decade and that was done openly, that things are hard for all including teachers.

He assured that Government is working hard to improve conditions stating that staying out of class only affects the learners.

“I know there are pressure groups and rumors but I am calling on and pleading with the leadership of SLTU to not push the State into a tight corner,” the Minister appealed adding that they should keep negotiating in good faith.

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