SINTA president Samson Faisi said it is irresponsible of the Government to take what was legal and turn it into an illegal subject.
Mr Faisi was referring to the fact that the re-leveling issue has already been a legal entitlement that the Government failed to address, and instead resort to the Trade Disputes Panel to avert the nationwide strike into an illegal undertaking when the strike is for justice.
“Referring this matter to TDP is creating injustice to teachers in this country,” he said.
He said SINTA maintains that the strike action is legal.
Mr Faisi added that SINTA would be willing to negotiate with the Government but under conditions, a deadline must be set for payments to be made and an MOU to guide the agreement.
“A lot of promises have been reached in
past negotiations but nothing has been done, and that has caused a lot of
frustration to teachers, therefore we still stand that our demand must be paid
by February 7.
“Our lawyer is working on the next step we would take, especially on the legality of our stand and I would say we will not back down unless we are paid.”
Teachers during their sit in protest
yesterday at Town Ground, all agreed to continue on with the strike action
until they receive what they demanded.
The president said if the Government is serious about children of this country and want quality education, then the matter must be resolve in teachers’ favour.
He stressed that if teachers are unhappy and return to work, they will not perform to standard.
Teachers were told yesterday that they should not return to work unless SINTA made the call for them to do so.
“I would again call on all private and church schools to be part of the protest, because at the end of the day, they will also benefit from this battle.
“It is the Government that paid all salaries; therefore a united stand is a must from all schools.”
Meanwhile, the SINTA president urges the Government to withdraw its referral to the Trade Dispute Panel and deal with the issue head on.
“The Government should not take the easy way out by referring the matter to the TDP, rather fulfill its obligation and pay up the agreed re-leveling payment.”
By Jennifer Kakai
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