Starting today, Senegalese teachers in primary and secondary public schools are on a 72-hour strike to make the government fulfil its promises on research and housing allowances.
The strike is organised by an 18-member trade union group which includes the following EI affiliates - the Syndicat National de l'Enseignement Elémentaire (SNEEL-CNTS), Syndicat Unique et Démocratique des Enseignants du Sénégal (SUDES), the Syndicat des Professeurs du Sénégal (SYPROS) and the Union Démocratique des Enseignants du Sénégal (UDEN).
The teachers are protesting against the fact that the government has not kept its promise to provide house allowance, despite signing an agreement in 2003 to that effect.
They are also demanding that the payment of research allowances be continued in the future. In 2006, the government set aside a "special budget" of 7 million FCFA (or 10.6 million euros) for the payment of research allowances ("indemnité de recherche documentaire" (IRD), in French), but it is not clear whether the continuation of this special budget will be guaranteed.
"We insist that the research allowance continues and is not a quid pro quo in exchange for longer working hours," commented Mamadou Diop, General Secretary of UDEN.
This is a third wave of industrial action taken by Senegalese teachers this year, after a series of three 72-hour strikes over a period of three weeks during April and a 72-hour strike from 30 May to 1 June.
EI urges the Senegalese government to listen to the demands of the teachers and not close the door to dialogue and negotiation. Teachers should be provided a decent wage and working conditions.