The dispute between the government and the Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU) is taking a new twist after the union’s call for a vote in a bid to launch a countrywide strike.
The move comes after the mediator appointed to work on the teachers’ demands was presented with a certificate which showed that the government and TTU have failed to come to an agreement.
TTU President Gratian Mukoba told reporters that already the two parties have failed to agree on important matters that teachers were demanding.
“This refers to section 80(1) of Employment and Labour relations Act of 2004 which literally says if a conflict of interest reaches a stage where it cannot be resolved, then there are certain ways to deal with it. And therefore we are gathering votes to call for a countrywide strike,” stressed Mukoba.
Mukoba was addressing journalists yesterday in Dar es Salaam when explaining on the steps reached between the union and the government concerning their demands.
Mukoba blamed the government for being unwilling to work on the matter.
“We offered the government 30 days to deal with our demands with the appointed mediator. The days ended on July 25 this year. Following the situation the two parties were called by the mediator and presented with the certificate showing that the conflict has failed to be resolved,” said Mukoba.
The union president explained further that the TTU call to teachers to vote went out on Wednesday and it will be wound up today (Friday).
“After this exercise we shall continue receiving results from every district and evaluate the outcome,” he said clarifying that if majority of teachers opt for the strike, then the teachers’ council will call an emergency meeting to bless the strike.
He said all members of the union and the government will be informed about the strike.
Mukoba said the union will issue a 48-hour notice to the Permanent Secretary responsible for Public service management to inform him of the date for the commencement of the strike.
“But all will depend on the decision that the council of teachers will have reached,” said Mukoba.
The president called upon TTU members to come out in huge numbers to vote in support of their demands which include an increase of up to 100 percent of their salaries and teaching allowances.
Mukoba appealed to parents and students who would be affected by the strike to remain calm as teachers are fighting for their rights in order to be motivated to carry their duties.
“They (Parents and children and the whole community) should not understand us negatively. We are doing this for the good of all the people. We want the government to be responsible for us and everybody,” he stressed.