Union calls strike as government fails on agreements

Senegal’s biggest higher education union, SAES – Syndicat Autonome de l’Enseignement Supérieur – called a 48-hour strike last week in protest against the government’s failure to keep agreements.

Wal Fadjri of Dakar reported that Yankhoba Seydi, SAES coordinator at the country’s leading University Cheikh Anta Diop, told the press the day before the stoppage began: “We signed the agreements with the government on 16 March. There are also those of 2011. None of these promises made by the state have yet been carried out. We demand respect for these agreements.”

The union took the decision on Saturday 6 February to carry out its strike threat, reported Wal Fadjri.

SAES national general secretary, Seydi Ababacar Ndiaye, reiterated union demands, which concerned the status of academics, housing rights and improved working conditions, reported Wal Fadjri.

“All the deadlines have passed; we’ve seen no government action. That’s why we have decided to observe a 48-hour stoppage of work… to raise public awareness,” said Ndiaye.

A ministry representative explained the delay in introducing the measures, reported Wal Fadjri.

Babacar Guèye said: “The government is working to satisfy the union’s claims. There is no lack of will as some unionists maintain. But it turns out that fulfilling their demands involves other departments, namely the ministries of public works and of finance.”

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