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Teachers carry out strike with very high participation, says union

The National Union of Teachers (Sinprof) said this Wednesday that adherence to the strike is very high and has no scheduled meeting with the employer.


Speaking to the Lusa agency, the secretary general of Sinprof, Admar Jinguma, explained that the level of adherence is not total, because, in the province of Bié, there is information that teachers are being coerced to work by the director of the Office of Local education.

"And also that other union that signed the agreement [with the Ministry of Education], which is in conjunction with both the ministry and the provincial offices of Education, which is doing the work of demobilizing teachers, apart from that the level of adherence continues to be very large, compared to what we had in the first phase", he stressed.

Admar Jinguma stressed that the parties have not sat down at the negotiating table yet, because they have not been invited.

"At this point, it can only be the ministry and not us, who are on strike and are waiting for the ministry to pronounce, and if the arm-wrestling does not pronounce, unfortunately, it will continue, regrettably", he stressed.

The union leader added that they are waiting for the Ministry of Education to meet the demands, because the strike "is not in itself the means of resolution, the strike is just a pressure mechanism".

"To resolve issues, we will always have to sit at the same table and I imagine it is in the interest of the Government itself not to continue this situation, in the sense of not harming our students even more, who are also our children, regardless of some not have their children in these schools," he said.

"I think that if the Government had this idea, that it is necessary to end this situation as quickly as possible, they would call, because we want to put an end to it as quickly as possible, but we also cannot disarm ourselves from our way of fighting. We are firm, but obviously also open to dialogue," he added.

Sinprof's general secretary assured that if the Government calls them, the union will listen to their proposals.

For Admar Jinguma, the major limitation of the Ministry of Education lies in the fact that so far it does not have answers to give, because some of the claimed matters exceed the resolution capacity of the guardianship.

"The ministries have practically no autonomy, they are auxiliary departments of the holder of the Executive Power, unfortunately, the other ministerial departments, Finance, the MAPTSS [Ministry of Public Administration, Labor and Social Security] and the advisory of the President of the Republic, who has the mission to respond favorably to these questions, sometimes they are late, sometimes they are not bothered about it and leave the Ministry of Education under crossfire, not knowing what lines to sew with", he observed.

According to the unionist, they are informally aware that the ministry "does not want to call just for the sake of calling", and wants to have "something concrete to propose to teachers, through their representatives".

"Failing that, the Ministry of Education has many difficulties and, unfortunately, they are paying a burden that is not theirs alone, but that is caused by other ministerial departments of the Executive", he underlined.

The claim booklet submitted to the Ministry of Education in 2019 had ten points, to which another four points were added, including the reduction of the Labor Income Tax (IRT), the amendment to the Remuneration Statute of Education Agents and subsidies normal assigned monthly processed and isolation ones.

The trade unionist said that, in addition to work improvements, they also require an increase in subsidies of around 60 percent, but the salary increase "is in much more".

"We currently have salaries, whose minimum and maximum range is between 87,000 kwanzas and 385,000 kwanzas and we are proposing that the average technician who ensures up to primary education should have at least 200,000 kwanzas and for the doctor teacher, who arrives at the top of the career that reached at least 700 thousand kwanzas", he indicated.

"We have sectors in which medium technicians earn much more and it is shameful for a professor to have to receive 385,000 kwanzas at the end of the month, which with inflation is even lower", he added.

The first phase of the strike was carried out between the 23rd and 30th of November, with the second phase of the strike now being carried out, with the third phase already scheduled, if an agreement is not reached, for the days between the 3rd and 31st of January 2023.


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