Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

Gambian Teachers To Embark On Sit Down Strike Today

0 318
Gambia Teachers Union Emblem

By Landing Ceesay 

The Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) has asked its members to embark on a sit-down strike today, January 4th, 2023 to highlight snafus in the implementation of the proposed 30% salary increment. 

“The National Executive Committee of the GTU hereby informs teachers and (other) Education Sector Personnel that the Union has noted with concern the inconsistency in the payment of allowances to Education Sector Personnel since the introduction of the new pay scale reflecting the 30% salary increment. To this effect, the Leadership sent nine demands to Government on 20th December 2022 and hoped that its demands would be thoroughly examined and reviewed to reflect the requirement of the General Orders in respect of such emoluments. To its dismay and utmost surprise, Government has neither responded nor acknowledged receipt of our demands after two weeks. 

“GTU said In this respect, the Government is found to deliberately failed to effect the 30% salary increment on the Zonal Allowances which contravenes the spirit and letter of  Chapter 5, Section III of the General Orders, precisely 05305 which states that “Officers posted from one region to another are entitled to the appropriate monthly provincial allowances of prescribed percentages of their Basic Salary. Government is found not acting accordingly which is in contravention to the letter and spirit of the General Order,” the Union said in a statement. 

GTU said until recently, Zones 1 and 2 education sector personnel were being paid 15% and 23%, respectively which the Union said has been altered thus falling short of the anticipated 30% increment. 

GTU said “Worst of all” teachers experienced a reduction in such allowances without any explanations.

GTU further stated that In 2022, the Union embarked on a “massive” regional consultation in collaboration with MoBSE from Region 3 to 6 regarding a proposal MoBSE shared with PMO to rationalize the payment of Hardship†Allowance to include all Lower Basic Education Cadre teachers in the affected regions including Basse and Jimara Clusters in Region 6. 

The Union said a 5% deduction was to be instituted and the “savings†accrued spread to accommodate more teachers in the said regions.

“This strategy/proposal was meant to be at no cost to Government while an amount of D127,251.90 will instead be realized (then) as “savings†if implemented and will further help to tackle the challenges of equity in teacher distribution in terms of posting and retention in perceived remote & difficult areas. This has been bluntly ignored and dumped. Equally, the Union has received with grave concern the exclusion of support staff, such as Regional Education Drivers from payment of Double Shift Allowances when their Bosses†who they drive are paid such allowances while engaging in the same mission. Caretakers who spend ten (10) hours in similar conditions are not catered for either, coupled with the fact that the Double Shift,” GTU said. 

GTU asserts that Allowances for officers of the Regional Directorate have also been reduced by 50% which the union said  is “grossly” unfair and quite “demotivating.”

GTU said the Zero budget on Committee Allowances will not only compromise performance but will “grossly” delay and affect the efficiency rate of all such committees and particularly “demotivate” personnel who may not necessarily be Government staff.

The Union said it found the non-payment of Invigilation Fees as “grossly” unfair to the concerned teachers because teachers invigilating may likely be blacklisted and seriously disciplined for any mistakes associated with examination malpractices or errors therein committed if they are found wanting during WAEC duties, coupled with the inconsistency of paying such teachers presiding over Private WASSCE and the good practices from its sister countries. 

“Contrary to GO 02206, Head Teachers, Principals, and their Deputies and Senior Teachers have been and continue to “undertake part of the duties and responsibilities of such a post for one month, and in some cases, they are required to carry out the duties of a post higher than their own, but no acting appointment is made for statutory reasons and yet they are not paid Charge Allowance as dictated by the letter and spirit of the General Orders. This is unacceptable and must cease immediately,” the union said. 

The Union further said  It is apparent that the current categorization of schools is not realistic at all. 

GTU said records have shown that some teachers have and will continue to retire in Grade 6, in particular after serving for 20 or more years on the same grade thanks to a “lack” of positions. 

GTU feels that is not only “demotivating,” but a definite “obstacle” in attracting people towards teaching. 

GTU said Teachers have been and continue to be moved throughout Term One of each academic year particularly after the Stabilization exercises at their own expense. 

“This is contrary to the General Order (05304) which requires “an Officer posted to another station which involves a change of residence is entitled to a single payment of the appropriate relocation allowance equal to 1/60th of his/her annual basic salary. We have noticed that despite the movement of Teachers from one region or school to another cluster after stabilization or in cases where the need arises, they are left to fend for themselves. In certain instances, failure to report on time attracts penalties from both MoBSE and particularly, the PMO during Head Counts. 

“In view of the aforementioned, the Union hereby REQUEST TEACHERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO STAY HOME OR IN THEIR RESIDENCES AND NOT REPORT TO WORK UNTIL WE HEAR FROM GOVERNMENT. We will keep you posted on the development, trend, and any further action(s) that we may sanction,” GTU said in a statement. 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.