Union strike threat if government promises not kept

Senegal’s main higher education union SAES – Syndicat Autonome de l’Enseignement Supérieur – has given notice of strike action, demanding that the government respect agreements signed last year. School teacher unions are also threatening industrial action.

SAES gave the government a month’s notice to meet its demands or its members would go on an unlimited strike, reported SenewebNews.

The grievances centred mainly on the alleged failure of the government to fulfil undertakings it made in March 2015.

According to WalFadjri of Dakar, SAES spokesman Moustapha Sall said there were four contentious points leading to the strike call.

They concerned reforms to the status of academics, which should have come into force on 1 January; improved provision of retirement pensions, and rights to accommodation and to health care.

In addition Dally Diouf, a SAES representative in Dakar, criticised the “disastrous” management at UCAD – Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar – the country’s leading university.

Some faculties had been unable to hold courses because lecture halls were closed and students had to use temporary facilities: “That’s to say, 7,000 seats… for more than 30,000 students,” he told WalFadjri.

Not only higher education is threatened by stoppages.

Secondary teachers’ union groupings the Cadre Unitaire Syndical des Enseignants du Moyen et du Secondaire or CUSEMS, and Grand Cadre des Syndicats d’Enseignants or GCSE, have also given notice of strike action because of government inaction over agreements.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.