Education International
Education International

Congo-Kinshasa: strike against non-payment of salaries

published 27 February 2013 updated 28 February 2013

Members of the Centrale de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche scientifique (CSC-Enseignement), one of EI’s national affiliates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, support the teachers’ strike that started on 18 February in the South Kivu region. The strikers are protesting about the non-payment of their salaries, in some cases for several months.

The call for a general strike across the province, issued on 15 February, is supported particularly strongly in Bukavu, where the majority of registered schools remained closed.

Salaries unpaid for months

“CSC-Enseignement members participated in this strike. The strikers included colleagues who have not received their salary for four or five months,” said Valery Nsumpi, General Secretary of the CSC-Enseignement.

He explained that CSC-Enseignement usually had good working relations with the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education (EPSP), despite the occasional disagreement. His union had protested at the difficult situation faced by teachers in a letter sent to the Education Minister on 1 October 2012. Regrettably, the union did not receive a response to that letter.

End parents’ payments for education, not salaries

“The position of our members is that the strike will continue until a solution is found or, better still, the payment of their salaries by the government, retroactively, even if parents are paying allowances. There should be an end to the parents’ payments one day, not our salaries,” he stressed. “Furthermore, poor parents are tired of paying.”

CSC-Enseignement is convening a general meeting of all of the country’s unpaid teachers on 9 March, Nsumpi added.

CSC-Enseignement’s demands:

-              The granting of aid from the Global Partnership for Education and the Solidarity  Network to be made conditional upon the payment in full of the salaries owed to all the teachers concerned,  about 28,000 across the country, including in South Kivu

-              Renovation of the schools destroyed by the effects of repeated warfare in this province

“We support our colleagues in the Democratic Republic of Congo in their fight for decent wages and working conditions,” explained the EI’s Chief Coordinator for the African region, Assibi Napoe.

“To guarantee quality education for all, the national authorities must respect teachers’ trade union rights and immediately enter into dialogue in good faith with the trade unions representing education professionals.”