UNIONISM UNDER A DEMOCRATIC STATE

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Section 25 subsection 1(e) accords every person the right to freedom of association and assembly including belonging to a union. It is therefore the right of all those who are employees of a given sector to form trade unions and other associations in order to promote fairer pay and working conditions.

Over the years members of the public service were restricted from forming unions. The teachers have built up a special teachers’ service commission which appears to be working in tandem in the PMO and the Public Service Commission. It is strange that the former structure established to secure the interest of teachers is not being utilised to prevent any loss of contact hours of the teachers and the children.

The key purpose of having union leadership is to enable them to have access to the authorities at all times. The future of every country is determined by its quality of leadership and judgment. There is need to prevent a gap in the number of contact hours the students should have annually. That is a key objective of all educational institutions. It should preoccupy both teachers and administrators and labour disputes should be settled at the expense of the national purse rather than transforming the students into the casualty.

The third term in a school year becomes a failure or success based on the input made by teachers and students to remedy any shortfall in the first term during the second term. All educationists are very conversant that first term results are not a fair testimony of the abilities of students. They merely convey weaknesses or strengths that could build upon all revenues during intervention made in the second term. We therefore call on the union leadership, the ministry of education and the PMO to look at the grievances of the teachers and address them with speed to prevent any delay in the promotion of the educational development of our children.