Cameroon: Unions still waiting for improvements in working conditions

published 12 March 2014 updated 13 March 2014

EI’s national affiliates in Cameroon, the Fédération camerounaise des syndicats de l’Education(FECASE), the Fédération des syndicats de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche(FESER) and the Syndicat des travailleurs des établissements scolaires privés du Cameroun(SYNTESPRIC), have called on teachers to take action to improve their status and working conditions.

On 26 February, the 10th session of the Government ad hoc committee entrusted with the examination of teachers’ grievances bore no results. The documents which they have been waiting for from the Government have not been signed to date, complain the education unions.

No progress on President’s commitments

The most important of these documents include the raising of the salary scale for the teaching profession, the integration of sports and physical education teachers and staff working with young children into the National Education Corps, the transformation of contract teachers into public servants, and an increase in the teacher’s research and documentation allowance.

Faced with a prolonged delay in the signing of the documents and in the light of the Presidency of the Republic’s persistent silence, the teacher trade unions in Cameroon have noted that expressing the teachers’ dissatisfaction has made no difference. Despite the teachers’ first phase of strike action which entailed stopping work from 17-21 February, no progress has been made in implementing commitments made by the President of the Republic on 10 February 2013. Consequently, teachers have decided to redouble their mobilisation efforts to obtain satisfactory solutions to their problems.

The “solution to our problems and, above all, the future of education in our country depends on your massive adhesion to this call to collective action”, states the education unions joint letter to their members. “It is now or never! One for all, all for one!”

The unions urge all classroom teachers, as well as those holding administrative offices, to demonstrate their sustained determination by:

  • Withholding test marks, as well as refusing to prepare any administrative documents during the test periods
  • Taking part in a second work break (while being present at the work place) from 28 April to 2 May 2014.

EI: Improving teachers’ conditions through social dialogue

“Decent working and living conditions are essential if a country wants to provide all children with quality teaching,” EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen said. “Quality teachers, together with quality teaching and learning environments and tools, are keys to achieving quality education for all.”

EI urges Cameroon’s public authorities to immediately engage in negotiations with the organisations representing educators to achieve a just and fair settlement to the dispute, he added.