Teachers demand improved conditions of service

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November 7, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie  

The Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU) is seeking an urgent improvement in the conditions of service for teachers, according to them, to ensure success in the implementation of the free quality education programme.

Despite announcing ten percent increment in the salary of public sector teachers in the supplementary and 2019 budgets presented by Finance Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa, Ibrahim Jalloh, a member of the SLTU executive committee, said the increment meant nothing without better conditions of service for teachers.

Speaking on Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘The Podium’ programme yesterday, Jalloh said they have called on successive governments to improve their conditions of service over the years, but to no avail.

He added that they are yet to get any response from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security after they wrote a letter calling for the immediate appointment of a Chairman for the Teacher Trade Group Negotiating Council.

According to him, the effective delivery of service in the current free quality education programme could be hampered if teachers were not well treated.

“Our next line of action, if the authorities failed to adhere to our demands, will be taken after consultation with our members. We want the free quality education programme to succeed but our conditions of service must be improved,” he said.

In a press release dated 4th November 2018 and signed by Acting Secretary General Morris S. Conteh, the teachers union noted that the right of every child to free quality education meant a corresponding right to a better paid and well-motivated teacher.

“While noting the provision made for workers, including teachers in the 2019 budget, we want to urge the government to speedily conclude the proposed negotiations as provided for in the collective bargaining machinery for teachers,” the release stated.

Meanwhile, the SLTU has admonished their members to remain calm as they continue to engage the government with a review of getting improved pay and conditions of service within the shortest possible time.