Teachers’ Union Demands Urgent Payment of D7M to Catholic Teachers amidst Protest
The Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) has demanded for the immediate payment of seven million dalasi being owed to Catholic teachers across the country by both the government and Catholic Education Secretariat (CES).
In a press conference on Monday held at the Union’s secretariat in Kanifing, acting secretary general, Essa Sowe, says he’s dismayed by the non-payment of the monies owe to such category of their members, arguing that the protest embarked upon by the disgruntled teachers could have been averted had the authorities heeded to the demands of the teachers.
“The leadership and management of the Gambia Teachers Union sees for ourselves the deep regrets that our teachers who are under the Catholic Education Secretariat have been deducted from their salaries which are meant for their socio-economic development,” Sowe told the press.
He added: “From September to date, close to eight million dalasis have been deducted from teachers from the Catholic Education Secretariat, purportedly due and meant for the loans and savings of these teachers including their main union dues owe to the Gambia Teachers Union”.
He disclosed that both teachers and the Union have explored all the necessary solutions in order to address the situation, but to no avail.
He notes the priority of learning particularly the children who are facing the consequence. However, he said the welfare of teachers must also be put into consideration at all times.
“Now that we have got to a point where we couldn’t get the desired assurances as to how soon these monies will be paid, the teachers are left with no option than to resolve it through industrial action effect from today.”
“The Government and Catholic Education Secretariat must ensure that all monies deducted from these teachers amounting to seven million dalasis plus must be paid failure of which the teachers will reconsider their engagement with the classroom,” acting Secretary General threatens.
After they engaged the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Catholic Education Secretariat and until on Thursday, he said they headed to the Office Secretary General at the Office of President. Apparently, he said they understood that due to logistical and administrative issues, the money couldn’t be processed at the bank.
“…but to our dismay we understand that even if that money was to be paid right now it’s less than half of the amount of over seven million dalasi we are requesting to be paid.”