Strike Action Over Catholic Schools…Authorities Meet With Teachers’ Leadership Today

By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie

Normal academic activities are expected to be paralyzed beginning Monday, March 10, 2014, at various Catholic schools in Monrovia and its environs due to the failure to address increment in teachers’ salaries.The action of the teachers is necessitated by the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Counsel (CAEC) and the Catholic Education Secretariat (CES) refusal to meet up with the teachers’ demands and other employment benefits.

In a communication to the Archbishop of Monrovia, Most Rev. Jerome Lewis Zeigler which is in the possession of this paper, dated February 21, 2014, the acting president of the Association of Catholic Teachers and Support Staff (ACTS), Mr. Ernest P. Belleh, said effective Monday, March 10, 2014, all Catholic school teachers within the Archdioceses of Monrovia will begin a “Go Slow” action for an indefinite period of time.

The leadership of (ACTS) has also been advised to act accordingly but should report to their various campuses and sign in and out as required by the institution while the “Go Slow” will be ongoing.

Mr. Belleh mentioned in his letter to the Archbishop that his leadership has mandated the teachers not to carry out or perform any function or assigned responsibilities (Teaching) until the leadership can decide or otherwise resolve the matter.

From the teacher’s communication of August 26, 2013, which talks about increment between LD$15,000.00 and LD$20,000.00 and the October 5, 2013 meeting, (ACTS) observed that nothing substantial has been done in their favour and as such the association wants to claim the attention of parents and the nation at large.

According to the letter, copies of the communication has been forwarded to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education but the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Bill Twehway, has told the INQUIRER that he has not received said notice.

When the INQUIRER contacted the administrator of the Catholic Education Secretariat, Rev. Fr. Varfee Sumo via mobile phone yesterday, he responded that his office is aware of the teachers’ plan but a scheduled meeting has been organized today with ACTS leadership to discuss the way forward.