By Aji Fatou Faal
Following its ultimatum for government to pay provincial teachers allowance or face strike by September 10, the Gambia Teachers’ Union has confirmed that tangible movements have been made to meet its demands and have therefore urged all protesting teachers to abandon all plans for strike.
According to a media release from the GTU, the Office of the President has presented a written response outlining the actions taken by government which include the increment of “residential and provincial allowances from 12.5% to 20% and 15% to 23%, respectively” beginning September 2018 accompanied by arrears from July 2018.
The GTU further explained that payment of School Improvement Grant (SIG) 2017/18 third term arrears for lower, and upper basic schools totaling D10, 272, 676.00 have been approved by MoBSE and currently being processed by Treasury for payment at the end of September 2018.
Also, according to the GTU the 2018 graduates from the Gambia College have been formally interviewed for appointment in the civil service on Thursday 6th September during which the GTU was adequately represented.
Against this background, members of GTU are advised that no further industrial action is required now and therefore are advised to report to their schools of posting when the academic year commences and the National executive committee would keep all teachers posted regarding any further action through appropriate channels as and when required, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the GTU thanked government for its cooperation on the matters and look forward to further cooperation in resolving outstanding issues and matters affecting teachers in The Gambia.
The Standard has learnt that the issue of the nonpayment of allowances for provincial teachers has angered many teachers some of whom are reported to have packed up, vowing to never return to their postings unless their allowances are paid.
Our source said the provincial teachers are angry that their counterparts in the urban areas have had their transport allowances increased and regularly paid.
However a senior teacher who spoke to The Standard yesterday said with this development, the provincial teachers may even earn higher than those in the urban areas.