Teachers threaten to down tools again

Teachers threaten to down tools again

MASERU-TEACHERS’ trade unions have threatened to down tools again if the government fails to urgently address their grievances.
The teachers’ unions are the Lesotho Association of Teachers (LAT), Lesotho Teachers Trade Union (LTTU) and the Lesotho Schools Principal Association (LESPA).

LAT spokesman, Letsatsi Ntsibolane, said they are mulling boycotting classes today as they will be meeting at Sefikeng sa Moshoeshoe to discuss how they could secure a certificate from the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR) authorising their strike.
Ntsibolane said teachers from all districts will convene at Sefikeng sa Moshoeshoe to chart the way forward.

The teachers’ unions two weeks ago walked out of a meeting with the Minister of Education Prof Ntoi Rapapa whom they accused of not taking their grievances seriously.

Professor Rapapa had invited the unions to a meeting to discuss how they could resolve matters following their joint strikes last year over better salaries and working conditions.
For the better part of the last academic year, teachers have been in and out of classes demanding that the government should follow the law that governs their new salary structure.

The new salary structure provides that teachers will no longer be paid according to their educational qualifications.
Minister Rapapa in November last year said before June 2016, teachers were paid as per their qualifications in accordance with the Teaching Service Regulations of 2002.
He said the regulation was repealed “for sustainability” purposes.

He also said the government had established a joint committee with the Ministry of Public Service to deal with the review of teachers’ salaries as well as the issue regarding career structure.
He said the committee held three meetings with teachers’ associations, culminating in an agreement to seek comments and opinions from the country’s south, north and central regions.

But the teachers are now arguing that nothing much has been achieved from the consultations. They accused the government of dishonesty when it said it does not have funds to implement the new salary structure.
They said the ministry is undermining the agreement reached on September 18 to 21 last year.
Ntsibolane said their members were not satisfied with the decisions made regarding teachers because they felt some were not beneficial to them and were not convincing.

Nkheli Liphoto

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