Close to 9000 teachers of the francophone subsystem of education in Cameroon have anounced they will go on strike on March 27 if government does not ameliorate their working conditions and regularise their salary situation.
The teachers union known by its French appellation as “collectif des enseignants indignes du cameroun” issued a letter on February 27 outlining their grievances and worrisome situation they have been in for over three years.
The letter addressed to the ministers of secondary education, finance and public service stated among other things the nonpayment of salaries and the non-integration of teachers into particular status. The teachers equally complained about the slow integration of salary grade review, integration of part time teachers into the system and the revalorisation of documentation and research allowances.
In the letter, the teachers wonder why government always wait for teachers to go on strike action before taking action. According to the teachers, government’s unwillingness to make teacher’s plight priority smacks volumes of bad faith. “We have noticed regrettably that teachers must always go strike to obtain their due. Why are teachers always neglected and why is the government coffers always empty when it’s time to pay teachers” the letter reads. The teachers equally pointed out that the minister of finance is still unable to pay salaries till date even after announcing that payments will be due in October 2016.
Going by the letter, the teachers of the francophone subsystem acknowledged government’s present challenge in managing the problems posed by teacher unions of the anglophone sub system of education. They however maintained that their strike action is strictly apolitical. “The context of our strike is different and specific and the problems raised are technical and not political and we think it can be resolved by the ministry of finance, ministry of secondary education and that of public service”. In the end, the teachers said they are ready for dialogue without which they will push for the strike action come March 27