Tuesday, 24 July 2007 9:29 AM

Teachers Strike Will Continue, says Hatimoana

Industrial Relations Officer of the National Teachers Association John Lee Hatimoana says that teachers have pledged to continue with their strike until government honors its past promises.

Last week Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo assured teachers that a seven-point-six million dollars allocation is in the Supplementary Appropriation Bill purposely to meet teachers' demands. Lilo then appealed to the striking teachers to return to work.

However, Mr Hatimoana says that the teachers are already sick and tired of broken promises and they are not prepared to be fooled again this time. Hatimoana said that the government has already gone as far as signing a memorandum of agreement late last year in which they failed to honor.

Mr Hatimoana says even if the Supplementary Bill is passed, it will take the government months to pay the teachers their dues. He says teachers will remain on strike until the payments are paid into their accounts.

The teachers strike, now in its second week, has resulted in the closure of at least 50 schools in Honiara and in some of the Provincial schools. Selwyn College of the Anglican Church has also joined the strike in support. Thousands of students have now returned to Honiara awaiting the outcome of the strike.