Tanzania Teachers` Union (TTU) has called off teachers’ strike which it had organized countrywide following the ruling by High Court labour division passed on Thursday in Dar es Salaam this week.
Speaking to journalists over the decision reached yesterday in Dar es Salaam, the TTU’s President Gratian Mukoba said his association has obeyed the high court ruling and that were going to execute all that had been directed to be done by the court including recovering any losses incurred on the course of strike.
However, he said that, despite the ruling by the High Court, his association will be consulting its lawyer in order to see the possibility for them to appeal as there are some aspects in the ruling that will require clarification by the Court of Appeal so as to remedy the legal discrepancies which contravenes their legal rights, and once this is through will inform their members about it later.
While this is in the process, he has ordered all teachers in the country to resume teaching and continue working as usual as the association is looking for ways to resolve their matter, which he said would be through dialogue between them and the government officials in order to find a lasting solution.
Either, the TTU’ President has congratulated all teachers in the country who dedicated themselves to fight for their legal rights including those apprehended by the police and charged for striking while others were told by their employer (government) to issue a statement of self explanations for their involvement within seven days.
TTU’s President said that, his association consoles all teachers who were subjected to such harassments, but despite of these still had to show up their stance without fail. He has however urged them not to become desperate by the High Court decision except to respect and obey it by all means whatsoever.
“I assure to our members especially at all district and regional levels for the good job they have done of making sure that teachers were informed about the strike and the necessary steps taken to stage a successful strike. However, I believe that the lord God is there and will continue to defend our rights and help fight for the unprivileged groups including teachers in this country” he said.
In view of this, his association has issued a hand of sympathy to those teachers who were inflicted bodily in one way or another during the strike, and that the TTU association is underway to evaluate problems met by teachers and if possible take appropriate actions to help them.
About the loses and damages that occurred during the strike as ordered by the High Court in its ruling, the TTU President noted that, his association is ready to compensate all losses incurred if verified with proof presented, but could not clarify how much is it as this will be coordinated and made open by the government.
“We are waiting for the government statement showing a loss report on any property damaged as we are not able to identify types of losses or damages caused to students the government claims about, and incase there is any, then our association will be ready to compensate” he affirmed.
The association has clarified that, teachers are highly disappointed by the ruling as they have seen that their government which proud of its 50 years as an independent state does not take their claims so serious and have repudiated their most important matters despite of promise in election campaigns that they would remedy all obstacles facing education sector in the country.
However, the ruling has not yet cancelled certificate of non settlement which was issued by the mediator of teachers’ crisis in July this year and that it does not put pending the rightful claims by teachers in the country which has been there for the last five years now.
Earlier the TTU had organized the strike to pressurize the government to increase teachers’ salaries by 100 percent that raged between Sh. 196,500 for certificate holders, Sh. 277,000 for grade ‘B’ teachers and Sh. 469,200 for undergraduate and 618,300 for masters’ degree holders.
Apart from salary increase, they demanded teaching allowance of 50 percent of their salaries as well as teaching environment allowances of 30 percent respectively
The High Court of Tanzania division of labour on Thursday this week ordered in its ruling of the civil case No. 96 of 2012 the striking teachers go back to work saying that their action was illegal because it gave no room for the employer to respond to their claims.
The ruling which was read by the presiding Judge Sofia Wambura said the teachers’ strike was unlawful because the notice was sent to the Chief Secretary President’s Office on Friday last week at 3.00 pm whereby working hours were almost over, and moreover teachers were the once who refused to continue with the negotiations about their impending matter.
She also informed teachers in her ruling that, participating in an unlawful strike for an indefinite period essentially means one has retired from employment and warned that the employer can terminate their services with immediate effect.
Judge Madam Sofia Wambura said there was no doubt the strike has inconvenienced the students’ curricula and has caused irreversible loss which is one of the good grounds for granting an injunction, and added that, the procedures followed were conducted in bad faith and that as well as the notice were invalid.
“Under the provision of section 84 (1) and (2) of the labour relation Act of 2004, I hold that the strike which has been going on for three days now is unlawful. I order that it should be stopped with immediate effect and all teachers who have participated on the strike should resume their duties forthwith” she said.
She also told the two, parties to return to negotiations and make deliberate efforts to reach an amicable settlement by even inviting persons who are good in labour laws and relations to assist them.