By Amadou Jadama
Martin Gomez, the president of the Gambia Teachers Union, has called on President Barrow’s new government to provide better pay and good working conditions for teachers.He made this call yesterday during the opening of the Mid-Term Review Congress held at Paradise Suites Hotel.
He made this call yesterday during the opening of the Mid-Term Review Congress held at Paradise Suites Hotel.
“Our leaders must know that trade unionism is not a barrier to economic progress, but a pathway to economic prosperity. We must send a loud and clear message that every abridgement of workers’ rights is an affront to human dignity,” he added.
He further disclosed that there should be adequate investment in instructional materials. “We must advocate for improved school management through improved training and leadership,” he urged.
He vowed that the GTU will continue to promote the economic and intellectual welfare of its members. “By focusing on welfare and professionalism, we will be able to help students realise their potentials while at the same time gaining job satisfaction and progressing in your careers he added.
“Through these investment and approaches, we can unite for quality education so as to build a better World. We must endeavour to do our best for posterity to judge.”
Gomez added: “The GTU is not alone in its endeavours to promote and protect teachers and education across the globe; we are surrounded by friendly allies in the global bodies of teachers and trade union. Together with these bodies, the GTU caters for the security of teachers and mobilise teachers resources to promote education and development of the state,” he concluded.
Omar Ndure, guest speaker and former GTU president, said trade unions must engage young people in the non-formal sector to be unionised in order to benefit from union protection.
“Youth can be a vibrant and radical force in trade union movements. They can be effective change agents bringing in new ideas and vigor, as they are activity oriented.”
He urged that trade unions must reach out to the young people in both formal and non-formal employments to build awareness and eventually bring them to the fold, he said.
“Women groups in unions can be effective mobilising and unifying forces. They face challenges which impinge on their participation… These include cultural norms, lack of a voice to be seen and not to be heard, domestic pressures and among others.”
He challenged women unions not to only engage in social and entertainment activities, but to demonstrate real and meaningful union activism.
Marie Antoinette Corr, general secretary of the GTU and Kebba M Ceesay delivered solidarity and fraternity messages.