The government has asked the teachers to give it ten more days to work on their demands before they go on strike. But the teachers who now look more determined than before, say the additional time won’t obstruct them from going to the stage.
Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU) president Gratian Mkoba said the government has requested for additional time from the teachers so that it could submit its answers to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration Council (CMAC) for negotiation.
“The government had earlier asked for 14 days to submit the responses to CMAC, which lapsed on Tuesday, the day when it appealed for ten extra days to work on the teachers’ demands,” the TTU president said.
Even though, he said, the government request for extra time won’t obstruct the union from staging its planned strike.
According to Employment and Labour Relations Act 2004, the registered dispute will be pending for 30 days, after which TTU which is the principal applicant will issue 48 hours notice to the government before it votes to strike.
Mukoba said TTU has granted extra time to the government to respond to its longstanding demands noting that the dispute comes to an eventual end.
Last month TTU announced a dispute of interest with the government, which if not solved amicably, the teachers will resort to a nationwide strike.
The teachers demand that the government increase their salary perks by 100 per cent.
They also demand that science and arts teachers be paid additional allowances of up to between 55 and 50 per cent respectively, and at least 30 per cent hardship allowance to those in remote areas.
The teachers’ planned strike was later shelved to July 25 this year, from the scheduled July 5 date, following a delay by the CMCA to call TTU and the government to appear before it to deliberate on the issue.
Meanwhile, TTU has blamed the Deputy Minister, Prime Minister's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Kassim Majaliwa for misleading the Parliament on the ongoing teachers’ dispute with the government.
Mkoba said recently the deputy minister told the Parliament that teachers had not announced the dispute of interest with the government.
He said the deputy minister was responding to a supplementary question by John Mnyika (Ubungo, Chadema) who had wanted to know the government’s position on planned teachers’ strike.
The TTU president said, the union has issued a written statement to the deputy minister condemning his misleading position and that it was waiting for his response before it reports the matter to Speaker of the National Assembly Anne Makinda.
State Minister in the President’s Office Public Services and Management Celina Kombani has already confirmed that TTU had registered its dispute with the CMAC and the Employment Commissioner.
Meanwhile, TTU deputy secretary general Ezekiah Oluoch expressed dismay over the government’s render to make the planned strike unsuccessful instead of responding to their demands.
Oluoch said the government was scaring the teachers so that they don’t go to strike as well as deceiving wananchi that the strike is fueled by political parties.