Secondary school teachers downed tools a month ago over poor working conditions.
Parents and students in Guinea Conakry have heaved a sigh of relief following the deal between government and representatives of teachers’ union on March 13, 2018.
The agreement suspends the over one month-long strike and ends weeks of tension and street demonstrations by angry students and parents protesting the children’s prolonged stay at home as result of the industrial action.
Classes resumed all over the country on March 14, 2018. According to the deal, government committed to pay the remaining 30 per cent of backlog of teachers’ allowances by the end of the month.
The teachers’ union, “Le Syndicat libre des enseignants et chercheurs de Guinée,” SLECG, will from May 2-25, 2018, hold discussions with government on a proposed minimum teacher’s salary of 8 million Guinean Francs (468,720 FCFA).
The deal also provides for the immediate lifting of the suspension on SLECG Secretary General, Aboubacar Soumah, and the payment of the backlog of his salary. All teachers transferred or demoted as a result of the strike will return to the status quo ante without any further sanctions taken against them.
Teachers went on strike on February 12, 2018, demanding salary rise. At least five people were killed and 30 others wounded in the capital, Conakry on February 20, 2018 in protests sparked by the teachers’ strike. On March 12, 2018, students led a violent march in Conakry, erecting road blocks and demanding their return to class.
Guinea’s main teachers’ unions launched the strike to protest government’s decision to dismiss or cut the salaries of many junior teachers after the recent civil service examinations. General strikes about 10 years ago caused major disruptions in Guinea, resulting in the deaths of 135 people after clashes with security forces.