Cameroon OTS Movement Disregards Minister of Labor’s Consultation
Several teachers’ unions around the globe have announced plans to strike in protest of unmet demands. A prominent date for these protests is October 5, which marks International Teachers’ Day. However, a planned meeting between a Minister of Labor and Social Security, and the union representatives was postponed due to an insufficient number of strike signatories. The meeting has been rescheduled for September 28.
The movement “On a Trop Supporté” (OTS), initiated by secondary school teachers in February 2022, has maintained its stance. A few representatives present on the day of the planned meeting announced their intention to only resume teaching if their demands were met. These demands primarily include the implementation of teacher status and the payment of salaries to those who have been teaching for years without receiving due compensation.
Government Measures Yet to be Implemented
The President of the Republic had signed a series of measures in March 2022 aimed at addressing the main demands of the teachers. However, according to the teachers, these measures have not been implemented. This lack of action has resulted in the continuation of the “chalk death” strike since the start of the school year in several schools across the country.
Teachers’ unions have announced a strike on October 5, International Teachers’ Day, with their demands including the implementation of teacher status and the payment of salaries to long-standing, unpaid teachers. A planned meeting between the Minister of Labor and Social Security and the unions did not take place due to insufficient strike signatories and has been rescheduled for September 28. Despite measures signed by the President in March 2022 to address these issues, teachers claim they have not been implemented, resulting in ongoing strikes.
Continued Global Unrest in the Education Sector
This unrest among teachers is not confined to a single country, rather it is a global phenomenon. Academic unions in Libya have announced a shutdown over unmet demands. An open-ended protest includes all faculty members at all public and private universities, higher learning institutes, and technical colleges, along with scientific research institutions and centers. The refusal of the government to implement the laws issued by the House of Representatives and settle the legal status of salaries has resulted in salaries returning to less than the minimum wage.
In New York City, the largest school district in the country with 1.1 million students, the city’s largest teachers union has warned that major changes need to be made to meet the union’s criteria for safe reopening amid the ongoing pandemic. If these demands are not met, the union is prepared to go to court or even go on strike.
San Francisco Teachers Union’s Threats
On the west coast, a San Francisco teachers union threatened to go on strike if their pay demands are not met. The district, which serves over 50,000 students, faces financial woes due to a combination of lower revenue connected to declining enrollment and other sources of income set to expire. The union, representing over 6,500 district employees, held a strike readiness meeting to pressure district officials to increase pay.
As these instances demonstrate, teachers all over the globe are making their voices heard, standing up for their rights, and demanding better conditions. The responses of the respective governments and educational authorities to these demands will have significant implications for the quality of education that students receive in the future.
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