Te­a­chers re­turn to school but will keep on ‘figh­ting’

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

Te­a­chers on Tues­day went back to their posts. Alt­hough they ha­ve litt­le con­fi­den­ce in the govern­ment, they ha­ve de­ci­ded to gi­ve the re­sult that the uni­ons ha­ve achie­ved a chan­ce. The uni­ons ha­ve re­por­ted­ly de­ci­ded to gi­ve the govern­ment un­til Ja­nu­a­ry 2017 to im­ple­ment the sa­la­ry ad­just­ment. At the end of Oc­to­ber, No­vem­ber and De­cem­ber the te­a­chers will al­so re­cei­ve the fi­nan­ci­al pro­vi­si­ons that they we­re sup­po­sed to get in Au­gust and Sep­tem­ber. They will al­so re­cei­ve the sa­la­ry ad­just­ment with re­tro­ac­ti­ve ef­fect in Ja­nu­a­ry 2017. Wil­go Va­lies, chair­man of the Te­a­chers’ As­so­ci­a­ti­on (BvL) and the Al­li­an­ce for Te­a­chers in Su­ri­na­me (ALS), poin­ted out that this is the first step to­wards im­pro­ve­ment of te­a­chers’ fi­nan­ci­al po­si­ti­on.

He ma­de it clear that the uni­ons would clo­se­ly fol­low the govern­ment’s ac­ti­ons on the mat­ter. “We are en­te­ring a new pha­se: a pha­se whe­re we will for­ce them to res­pect us. The uni­ons will ta­ke a firm stan­ce if the govern­ment on­ce again fails to keep its word.” Va­lies al­so told the union mem­bers that he has ma­de it clear to the govern­ment du­ring the talks that the uni­ons do not con­do­ne the way te­a­chers are tre­a­ted and that re­as­sign­ment to ano­ther school is being used as a we­apon against te­a­chers. “The govern­ment has as­ked to ma­ke a list of all the­se ca­ses. The­re will be mo­re talks with the govern­ment so that te­a­chers can do their job wit­hout fear,” said Va­lies who ad­ded that te­a­chers cho­se to as­sem­ble on Oc­to­ber, the first day of school, to ex­press their dis­con­tent with the govern­ment’s at­ti­tu­de to­wards te­a­chers and not to du­pe stu­dents. Te­a­chers from the dis­tricts Sa­ram­ac­ca and Nickerie re­por­ted­ly at­ten­ded Mon­day’s union mee­ting. “We know our res­pon­si­bi­li­ty but when the govern­ment does not keep its word, pe­o­p­le can’t keep ex­pec­ting us to remain ‘loy­al’,” said Va­lies.

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