Thursday, 17 January 2013 9:06 AM
Nationwide Strike Looms
All indications are pointing towards a nationwide strike by teachers, creating massive disruptions to upcoming classes for students.
While talks continue, it seems unlikely that the issue will be resolved, the government making it clear that “there are no budgetary allocations for what the teachers are asking for.”
It seems clear there is little the government can do to avoid a nationwide strike by teachers that could start today morning. The bottom line being there is no money allocated for such a massive exercise.
The potential teacher strike could mean 40,000 students will not have class next week.
"I'm very concerned because I don’t remember this happening before, so I am not sure what to expect," said parent Karen Gaita.
"I understand the teachers need better condition, something they were promised," Gaita said. "But I also feel our kids will be the biggest victims, they need to be in school."
The National Teachers Union (SINTA) General Secretary, Johnly Hatimoana, says it is time Prime Minister Lilo becomes involved.
"This is a serious case as it will affect our children. In order to avoid that the Prime Minister should step in and talk with his permanent secretaries and responsible authorities...it is through their negligence this has happened."
Those close to SINTA say it is surprising that the ministry of education did not budget for an exercise that was agreed to in an MOU.
“These negotiations involved all stakeholders, including the ministry of finance, so we are very concerned that they can just say it was not factored into the budget.”
It is understod SINTA is currently meeting to discuss the details and timing of the strike.
The relevant government ministries could not be reached for comment.