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Teachers end sit-down strike as they receive 7.2m

Mar 16, 2020, 2:33 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

The Gambia Teacher’s Union and Network of Mission Teachers have ended their sit-down strike which was staged in pursuance of monies persistently being deducted from their salaries since September 2019, representing savings and loan repayments with the Catholic Education Secretariat Credit Union, GTU Cooperative Credit Union, ELAC and the GTU.

The sit-down strike was sanctioned on Monday 9 March 2020.

The said money amounted to over seven million dalasi (D7M) but does not include the amount due and owing to ELAC at the moment.

Essa Sowe, deputy general secretary, Gambia Teacher’s Union explained that the GTU confirmed receipt of D7.2M on Friday 13th March 2020 being money paid by the Central Bank of The Gambia to the GTUCCU account lodged with the Standard Chartered Bank.

He added that upon receipt of the alert, the GTU leadership summoned an emergency debriefing session at the GTU Secretariat the same day to inform representatives of affected teachers as well as chart the way forward.

Mr. Sowe said they visited the Catholic Education Secretariat, engaged PS, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education as well as the secretary general and head of Civil Service to ensure that they pursue and get the money, but due to failure of getting assurances from relevant authorities, they were left with no choice but to support the sit-down strike.

Baboucarr O. Joof, general manager, Gambia Teacher’s Union Cooperative Credit Union, said they received the D7.2 million on Friday evening and the Catholic Education Secretariat received their portion of their money on Saturday morning.

“As I speak all the monies owed to Catholic Education Secretariat teachers at GTU, GTUCCU, CESCCU levels have been adequately catered for and paid to CESCCU account”, Mr. Joof said. 

He expressed gratitude to government and all stakeholders who were involved in trying to resolve the matter. He also thanked parents and families of children whose education was disrupted.

The GTU and Network of Mission Teachers urged teachers to immediately halt the strike and return to work today, Monday.