Fiery trade unionist suspended

Fiery trade unionist suspended

MASERU – FIREBRAND teachers’ trade unionist, Letsatsi Ntsibolane, was suspended from duty last week. Ntsibolane, who is a teacher at Lithabaneng High School, was slapped with the suspension letter last Friday. The suspension came after it became clear that the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR) was going to award the teachers’ union with a certificate to hold a lawful strike. The suspension letter said Ntsibolane must “show cause” why the Teaching Service Commission (TSD) could not uphold the recommendation of the schools’ inspectors to dismiss him from the teaching service.

It reads: “The commission is in receipt of a report of inspection carried out at your school on 15th November 2018 wherein you are alleged to have been negligent in performing your duties…”
Ntsibolane is accused of announcing “an illegal strike for teachers” and urged teachers to participate in the strike.

“You absented yourself from duty on the days of the illegal strike,” the letter reads, referring to last year’s general strike by the teachers in the last quarter of the academic year.
“You illegally engaged on different occasions one Palesa Maapesa, Nthati Maboee and Teboho Pheane to stand in and perform your teaching duties while you were absent from school,” it reads.
The spokesman of the Lesotho Principals Association (LESPA), Tšepo Lethobane, said they were stunned last Friday when Ntsibolane was given the ‘show cause’ letter.
The principals, for the first time in the history of teachers’ clashes with the Education Ministry, are taking sides with the teachers.
In fact, they too are complainants against the ministry.

“The ‘show cause why’ letter will never take us down at all. In fact it is one thing that is going to unite us even more and make us stronger,” Lethobane said.
He said ‘the show cause why’ letters are given to intimidate them and he insisted that they would “fight this war since heroes do not die but they multiply”.
Lethobane said on Monday all the districts gathered to collect the certificate from the DPPR but reached a deadlock with the government.
He said after failing to reach an agreement, their next step is to go on a strike.

He said their meeting is set for Tuesday next week where they are going to discuss how their new strike is going to unfold.
Lethobane said they had since realised that the ministry was just playing tricks with them when it agreed on the timeframes to address their grievances in September last year.
“They did it because we had permission to go for a strike so they were just playing tricks with us,” Lethobane said.
“I say this because none of the issues were worked out up to today,” he said.

On September 12 last year the Ministry of Education signed an agreement with teachers, a three-page document with 11 decisions.
It was signed between the Ministry of Education’s Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Lesotho Association of Teachers (LAT), Lesotho Teachers Trade Union (LTTU) and the Lesotho Principals Association (LESPA).

Nkheli Liphoto

Previous Teachers to vote on strike
Next Review the deployment of teachers

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