Lecturers look forward to ‘decent’ pensions

After a long campaign, higher education and research unions have concluded an agreement with the government of Senegal to secure a ‘decent’ retirement pension for their members which will entail academics working an extra hour a week.

Provision for retirement was a leading claim of the unions, especially the Syndicat Autonome de l’Enseignement Supérieur (SAES), during long years of negotiations interspersed with stoppages and strikes, reported Sud Quotidien of Dakar.

In June 2017 higher education teachers responded to the SAES call to take to the streets to demonstrate their determination to the government on the retirement issue. The previous April the union had rejected conclusions from a conference on the viability of the civil service national retirement fund.

Demands for a ‘decent retirement’ gained momentum at meetings on university campuses. Although teachers’ and researchers’ incomes rose through increased allowances and bonuses, their pensions were calculated on their basic pay which was ‘derisory’, reported Sud Quotidien.

Finally, after long discussions, the SAES and the government agreed a draft accord in March, which stated that teachers and researchers would work an extra hour weekly, entitling them to a pension of 70% of their final salary for 2018 and 2019, 80% for 2020 and 2021, and 85% from 2022. A national social solidarity fund would be set up to oversee the system.

After a delay, the interministerial order creating the fund and fixing its operating rules was signed on 7 August by Mary Teuw Niane, higher education and research minister, and Amadou Ba, minister of economy and finance, with effect from 1 July. – Compiled by Jane Marshall

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