Teachers in Gabon have launched a one month strike requesting bonuses and unpaid salaries for 2014 and 2015.
The decision to strike has been observed in primary, secondary and high schools in the country.
“I am here to request what belongs to me. I have not received my performance and holiday allowance. I do not think calm can return to the house if all this bonuses are not paid,” Joelle Akéle a female teacher said of the action.
“Our request has been the same for months. We obtained written and signed documents from the government which has failed to respect the deadline and does not speak about it anymore,” Ndong Edzo one of the leaders of the strike action told the international media.
The decision to strike started in 2015 when 20 public sector unions left many schools closed for about three months causing a difficult academic year for students.
The integration of primary school teachers who have been working for many years without salaries is another priority of the strike organisers.
The intervention of President Ali Bongo Ondimba was considered a glimmer of hope when he announced the introduction of a new remuneration system based on performance.
Parents in Gabon want the state to respect its engagements,“Our children are not well trained. How then will things move if we train youths who do not meet the standards of the job market,” Fabrice Mougnaki uttered.
The National Convention of Education Sector Trade Unions, Conasysed, which groups the main teachers trade unions in Gabon has promised not to stop the strike action until their requests are respected,” If our difficulties are not solved, we will not go back to teach. Warnings and intimidation as in June and July last year or the suspension of our salaries cannot disrupt our plans. “ Alain Yves Kouba the communication officer of Conasysed said.