In Mozambique, significant progress is being made in creating a new education union, with the help and support of Education International and its affiliates.
ONP started the process to move from a professional association to a trade union in 2014. It has received support in its transformative journey from Education International (EI) and its affiliates from South Africa, Brazil, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, and Canada. It has also received more concrete assistance from EI’s Solidarity Fund in logistics, coordination and a democratic structure that will see it become a trade union in June 2019.
In a recent two-day planning mission to Maputo, delegates from the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU), EI’s regional office in Africa, and EI’s solidarity and cooperation department based in Brussels met with ONP delegates and officials to discuss progress so far and the steps ahead. The visit also included meetings with teachers in order to map the communication between ONP leadership and the practitioners and delegates on the ground. A meeting between the Ministry of Education, represented by the Deputy Minister Armindo Ngunga, ONP President Rosario Quive and ONP General Secretary Francisco Nogueira, resulted in the initiation of a dialogue that will continue with the soon-to-be-called Union of Teachers and Education Personnel.
The process that will transform ONP from a professional association into a trade union will involve motivating teachers to become involved in union politics, gathering enough delegates, informing them of the constitutional process, and ensuring that the foundations of the new union comply with the highest standards of democracy, transparency, and independence.
Status of profession
According to Nicolás Richards, senior coordinator of Solidarity and Development at EI, this process will also serve as a precedent for successful union renewal and consolidation efforts in the continent, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries like Angola, Cap Vert, Sao Tomé, and Guinea Bissau. In Mozambique, a new education union will ensure an improved, democratic, and more representative voice of teachers in the collective bargaining arena with the government, leading to an enhanced status for the teaching profession.