Sierra Leone Government Meets Teachers Union Today

Members of the Teaching Service Trade Group Negotiating Council including the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Ministries of Finance and Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Human Resource Management Office (HRMO), among others will today start to engage the Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU).

“The meeting will discuss the request from the Sierra Leone Teachers Union for the commencement of negotiation on improved salaries and conditions of service of teachers and a review of the Collective Agreement,” Secretary, Teaching Service Trade Group Negotiating Council, Sorie I. Turay said in a letter dated April 28th 2022.

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The meeting will look at the issues raised by the Union to government regarding the improved salaries for teachers and their conditions of service. It is expected that at the end of the engagements, government will come up with a package that will be accepted by teachers nationwide.

Speaking on the issue yesterday, Chairman of the Teaching Service Commission, Conrad Sackey, said the negotiation starts today, adding that it is a long process. He said SLTU wrote a letter to them requesting the commencement of this engagement to address the concerns of teachers. He said government will critically look at the proposals that will be submitted by the Union.

Sackey disclosed that government has increased the salaries of teachers by thirty percent (30%) in 2020. He said the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr. David Moinina Sengeh have agreed for the negotiation to start.

He said there are two types of teachers, those on payroll and those who are yet to be approved by government. He said government needs additional teachers to fill in the gap due the high enrollment in schools following the launch of the Free Quality Education project.

“I want teachers to know that government takes their concerns very seriously. I am calling on all teachers to exercise patience while the negotiation starts today,” Sackey said.

Meanwhile, the SLTU Regional Secretary, Western Region, Foday Kuyateh has described the salaries paid to teachers as abysmal and disheartening.

“Because of the abysmal salary structure for teachers, SLTU is asking government including the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), to commence negotiation for an increase in the salary of teachers and improved conditions of service as soon as possible. The salary of teachers is so disheartening when one compares it with the amount paid to public sector workers. The high cost of living is not commensurate to the salary teachers are receiving,” Mr. Kuyateh said recently.

He said “SLTU is asking for a living wage for our members.” According to New Vision Newspaper, Kuyateh emphasized that while some government officials are receiving above thirty million Leones a month as salary, teachers and Principals are receiving less than three million Leones (Le3M).

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