Ei-iE

Senegal: Teachers invite government to the negotiation table

published 19 April 2007 updated 19 April 2007

The Strike action in Senegal is the last resort for teachers in trying to persuade the government to return to dialogue.

It is organised by a 18-member trade union group which includes the following EI affiliates - the Syndicat National de l'Enseignement Elémentaire (SNEEL-CNTS), Syndicat Unique et Démocratiquedes Enseignants du Sénégal (SUDES), the Syndicat des Professeurs du Sénégal (SYPROS) and the Union Démocratique des Enseignants du Sénégal (UDEN). The group is headed by Mamadou Diouf, General Secretary of SUDES.

The strike is part of planned action consisting of three 72-hour strikes over a period of three weeks, between 11-26 April.

The unions were forced to take the industrial action after the government failed to respond to their claim for increased housing and research allowances.

The teachers are protesting against the fact that the government has not kept its promise to provide financial assistance for teachers to build their own houses, despite having signed an agreement in 2003 to that effect. They are also demanding that research allowance be given to all teachers - a demand that the government is willing to accede to on the condition that all teachers work 3 more hours per week. "The turnout at the first 72-hour strike was very successful," said Diouf. "It was almost 100% in the elementary schools and 80% in the secondary schools."

On 26 April, the trade union group will evaluate the outcomes of the strike and decide on a possible extension.

"The doors of dialogue are not closed and we invite the government to evaluate the stakes of this strike," stated Diouf.