By Yerima Kini Nsom
CameroonPostline.com -- Teachers’ trade union leaders have vowed to intensify their nationwide strike that started on February 17. The trade union leaders took the decision after their talks with Government in Yaounde failed to yield dividend.
TAC, CATTU and SNAES Union Leaders Concerting
After meeting with Government representatives in the ad hoc committee for the examination of teachers’ grievances in Yaounde on February 26, the teachers expressed their disappointment: “The Government has virtually done nothing to address our grievances,” the President of the Cameroon Teachers Association, TAC, Paul Ninjoh, told The Post shortly after the meeting.
He said since Government was demonstrating a lot of bad faith, they would intensify the strike by mobilising more teachers all over the country to adhere to the strike action. The teachers had walked out of the ad hoc committee last November 24, accusing Government of doing nothing to address their grievances. It was on this account that they called for a strike that began on February 17.
“Despite the fact that we are on strike, we still gave chance to dialogue and negotiation by attending today’s ad hoc committee meeting,” the TAC boss told The Post. He said the only thing Government claims to have done since November is the signing of the text of academic honour that will ensure the recognition of the meritorious services that teachers render to the nation.
According to the Executive Secretary General of the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union, CATTU, Wilfred Tassang, the representative of the Government at the committee, Grégoire Owona, Minister of Labour and Social Security, said other texts that border on teachers’ statutes will be signed progressively. He quoted Minister Owona as saying that the texts are already on the table of the President of the Republic.
He described such excuses as Government gimmicks to continue to delaying the granting of their demands. The Executive Secretary General of the National Autonomous Trade Union of Secondary and High School Teachers Trade Union (SNAES), Roger Kaffo, said the current strike is the most successful after those of 1993 and 1994. He said all their grievances are inherent in the non application of a 2000 law bordering on the statutes of teachers.
Among other issues, the teachers are asking for the inclusion of sports and physical education teachers, youth animation teachers, as well as the counsellors of the Basic and Secondary Education, into the education corps. They equally want the Government to increase the index bar and the implementation of the collective convention for private education teachers.
The integration of all contract teachers in Basic and Secondary Education and the text to raise the research and documentation allowances within the teaching corps, constitute some of the grievances the teachers tabled to Government. The Post was hinted that the peak of the strike will be the disruption of official examinations by the teachers nationwide. However, Owona has called on the leaders to exercise patience reiterating that Government was studying their file progressively.
First published in The Post print edition 01508