Ver Angola


Teachers suspend strike without understanding and may be paralyzed again

Teachers will resume classes across the country on Thursday, after a five-day strike, even without reaching an agreement with the Ministry of Education, the National Union of Teachers (Sinprof) reported this Wednesday.


In a press conference, the president of Sinprof, Guilherme Silva, said that the strike will now be suspended and should be resumed from the 6th of December until the 16th of December, if in that interval the demands of the teachers are not met, being already a third phase scheduled from 3 to 31 January 2023.

Guilherme Silva said that, in October 2019, Sinprof sent the Ministry of Education a claim booklet with ten points, which summarize the main problems of the sector and, in December of the same year, direct talks between the parties began.

The president of Sinprof underlined that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, he suspended the claim process "and embraced the social side", but with the return to face-to-face classes and normality in the country, they decided to resume it.

On the initiative of Sinprof, Guilherme Silva said, in January 2021 the parties returned to the negotiating table, which lasted until March.

However, the lack of understanding between the parties on all the points in the notebook, especially what was related to career progression (promotions), led to the stoppage of work in the sector, which would start on April 26, 2021.

On that occasion, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Education and Sinprof, on April 24, 2021, which led to the announcement of the suspension of the strike.

The trade unionist stressed that the employer's argument that the strike is illegal makes no sense, because on April 21 of last year he sent the declaration of strike to the Ministry of Education (Med) and other Government entities.

"The Med was aware of the resumption of the strike. Sinprof, living up to its long experience of struggle, complied with all the legal requirements. For this very reason, the unfounded argument of the illegality of our strike invoked by the Med has no support. In fact, we simply resumed a suspended strike with the signing of the memorandum in 2021, an act that dispenses with a new strike declaration", he stressed.

Guilherme Silva reinforced that "it is important to be aware of how the claims process takes place".

"In 2021, Sinprof suspended the strike and did not lift it. Because the lifting of a strike presupposes that the issues under negotiation have all been addressed. As a result, in the event of resuming the claim process, the process must occur with the filing of a new notebook," he added.

"It is also not true that the strike breaks with the memorandum of understanding. I don't know where they found the foundations for such a statement! Perhaps, that is why they advised the minister to initial an agreement containing a point in the final execution phase and already agreed with another union! The minister's legal advice did not go well", he stressed.

At stake is an agreement signed between the Ministry of Education and the Federation of Education, Culture, Sport and Media Workers' Unions for the suspension of the teachers' strike, called for the 6th of December.

According to Guilherme Silva, Sinprof is open to dialogue, but they want "clear and serious proposals" that will lead to the consideration of teachers for their analysis and decision, because "their final decision is up to them".

"During these six days of strike there was no negotiation with the Ministry of Education. We could not be the ones to invite, because it is the Med that is under pressure and it is in itself that the responsibility for the execution of the matters in claim rests", he stressed.

The union recalls that the second phase of the strike coincides with the start of the first quarter exams and, if carried out, could harm the students.

"It is not our intention to harm our children and young people, daughters and sons of people like us, teachers, who do not always have enough to eat or feed their children. However, we cannot continue to allow the condition of the teacher to continue as it is. It will be up to Med to avoid reaching a situation that compromises the continuation of the academic year", expressed the president of Sinprof.


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