As a result of the offer, FSII yesterday met with the Solomon Islands national teachers association (SINTA).
meeting yesterday was the first of more to come between parties of interest in
the government-teachers issue which is in a deadlock.
The meeting with SINTA was held yesterday afternoon after FSII offered to play a mediatory role between parties involved in the current saga – in this case SINTA and relevant Government departments.
FSII chief executive officer (CEO) Benjamin Afuga said FSII felt meeting different parties to the current dispute is important in that FSII can note views and standpoints and help contribute towards the matter amicably.
The move to mediate is in accordance with FSII vision “A strong proactive movement with a solid foundation and passion, advocating for positive change at all levels of governance across all sectors within the Solomon Islands”.
Mr Afuga in a the letter of offer to mediate, furnished to the ministry of education and human resource development and the ministry of finance and treasury stated it is important that the matter is resolved amicably and promptly.
“Students and parents are now waiting in anticipation to see the dispute amicably resolved. Since the school calendar commenced last week the dispute instead intensifies. No one knows exactly how long the nation-wide strike action will take but some predicted that it may take longer than expected if the dispute is not affably resolved.
“It is for this reason that I can confirm that FSII would be agreeable to mediate and would consider any other option of alternative dispute resolution in order to avoid the need for this matter to be resolved once and for all.
“FSII foreknows the far-reaching effects this nation-wide strike action will have on our innocent children, if both parties continue to prolong this dispute.”
FSII then proposed to meet with SINTA which materialised yesterday afternoon, to meet with the minster of education this morning and a joint meeting with the groups including the ministry of finance on a date yet to be set.
“As a professional pressure group that represents the silent majority that is continually denied by the Solomon Islands “culture of silence” although things seemed undeserved, FSII has taken an unprecedented step to make this patriotic act as the mediator in this dispute.”
During their meeting with SINTA yesterday, SINTA expressed disagreement with the Government’s move to refer the matter to the Trade Disputes Panel.
SINTA pledge to seek an audience with the Attorney General to request the withdrawal of the TDP case because non compliance to the TDP Act section 10 would be high, simply because teachers are now frustrated due to the prolonged delay tactic demonstrated by the Government.
Teachers throughout the nation have supported this strike action.
FSII during the meeting also asked SINTA
to handle the issue responsibly and assured SINTA of FSII’s commitment to deal
with the issue intelligently and professionally.
FSII meanwhile calls on the Government to use common sense in this precadiment.
“It must not use the law to protect itself. The law must not be used to cause injustice to our teachers.
“FSII being an advocacy for change group, is very much concern about the impact the dispute will have on our children and their future.”
By Ednal R.Palmer
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