Catholic Teachers End Strike Action…Resume Teaching Today
The Association of Catholic Schools Teachers and Support Staff (ACTS) has called off its go-slow action with immediate effect with the agreement that teachers will be given at least two-month of their cumulated salary. In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Secretariat, Archdiocese of Monrovia, the parties reached a consensus to establish the legal and moral basis on which the current go-slow action of the teachers could be resolved.
Following discussion with the Archdiocesan Catholic Education Council through the facilitation of the Ministry of Education, the Liberia Council of Churches, LINSU, Catholic Youth and Young Adult (CYAA) including Atty Koffi Woods among others, ACTS resolved to reopen schools on Tuesday, March 17.
Yesterday’s reopening activity at various Catholic schools began with the cleaning of campuses and putting into effect the Ebola protocols while official teaching starts today. Meanwhile, the parties’ discussions resolved that dialogue is the best method.
The agreement further notified teachers that the Catholic Education Secretariat will pay the amount in one full installment as it could afford and with the acceptance of the ACTS to the payment terms; the CES also agreed not to take action such as dismissal or reprisal against any member of ACTS for their advocacy protest.
The ACTS also agreed to withdraw all and any such action of complaint filed to the Ministry of Labor and other said institution against the CES while the parties appreciate the roles played by all the interveners in resolving the crisis.
Several students of many Catholic Schools in the city last week staged a peaceful protest over the prolonged go slow action that is affecting normal academic activities in those schools.
The ACTS announced its “Go-Slow” action due to what it termed as the CES refusal to pay teachers some five-month salary arrears owed them.
According to the document, on the 3rd of February, ACTS held a mass meeting to have unanimously resolved to stage a Go-Slow action beginning Wednesday, March 4. The association in its protest action document called on all teachers under the banner of ACTS based on the above mentioned situation to as of Wednesday, March 4 to report to their respective schools only to sign in and refrain from entering any classroom for the purpose of teaching.
The association in its document to the teacher said, “Through the “Go-Slow” period, teachers are advised not to take instruction from any school administration or CEO’s administrators. Furthermore, any information relative to returning to normal academic function will be given only by the leadership of ACTS”.
As a result of the protest, there had not been normal academic activities in many of the Catholic schools, thus depriving the students of normal learning activities even though the government ordered that all schools reopened on February 16.
As a result of this go-slow action, students who have not had classes for almost a month, for the second time staged a peaceful protest over the resumption of normal academic activities, although the students’ protest last Friday was not violent, it caused traffic jam in some parts of the city, especially the Bye-pass community.