Teach­ers threaten strike

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

TEACH­ERS’ unions have threat­ened crip­pling in­dus­trial ac­tion in a bid to force gov­ern­ment to ad­dress their con­cerns, which in­clude work­ing con­di­tions and low salaries.

This was stated yes­ter­day dur­ing a joint press brief­ing held by the Le­sotho As­so­ci­a­tion of Teach­ers (LAT) and Le­sotho Teach­ers Trade Union (LTTU).

On be­half of the two unions, LAT Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Thaabe Kule­hile said the teach­ers had made many con­certed ef­forts to put across their con­cerns to Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Min­is­ter Dr Ma­hali Phamotse.

He said they made sev­eral at­tempts to meet with the min­is­ter, “but there seemed to be no con­cern from the min­istry re­gard­ing our is­sues as there was no feed­back on our 15 Fe­bru­ary and 8 June 2016 let­ters”.

He ap­pealed to the min­is­ter to in­cor­po­rate their griev­ances in the bud­get for the next fi­nan­cial year, adding that if they were not en­gaged next month or in Septem­ber, they would down tools at a crit­i­cal time when fi­nal ex­am­i­na­tions will be writ­ten.

On 27 June, more than 200 teach­ers de­liv­ered a pe­ti­tion out­lin­ing their griev­ances to Dr Phamotse.

The min­is­ter, who promised to study the griev­ances and give feed­back, as­sured the teach­ers that the gov­ern­ment would work hard to ad­dress their con­cerns.

In their pe­ti­tion, the teach­ers said they had ex­pected to be paid bet­ter salaries after im­prov­ing their qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Some had been Cam­bridge Over­seas School Cer­tifi­cate­hold­ers, but after im­prov­ing their qual­i­fi­ca­tions to teach­ing diplo­mas and de­grees, they were still earn­ing M3 049. This, they said, was what they were be­ing paid when they had COSC qual­i­fi­ca­tions and those with diplo­mas now ex­pected M7 000 a month in line with their new sta­tus.

The teach­ers also de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion on why some teach­ers were given Ca­su­alty Re­turn (CR) while oth­ers did not, even though they had the same qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

The pe­ti­tion said the min­istry’s fail­ure to in­crease teach­ers’ salaries jeop­ar­dized stu­dents’ right to qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion as teach­ers worked un­der duress. The pe­ti­tion has de­manded that Dr Phamotse in­creased teach­ers’ salaries by 31 July.

SOME of the dis­grun­tled teach­ers dur­ing the protest on 27 June 2016.

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