Some 15 teachers of Atlanta Bilingual High School, ABCHS Bonaberi, Douala have responded in a petition to the administration for wrongful termination after being sacked by the school’s proprietor.
According to reports, most of those sacked are experienced GCE examiners who have served the school for about 10 years without a contract.
In a letter addressed to the Inspector of Labour for the Littoral region,they expressed their frustrations with the said institution, asking for government intervention.
“It is interesting to know that this school is scared of written contracts and engages itself only in oral or unwritten contracts of employment with its workers”, the letter reads in part.
“Our attempts to redress this have always proven futile as some of us will be regarded as enemies of progress” ,it reads further.
Noting that their engagement with the school had no contract duration,they equally lamented that their salaries were irregular with too much work load assigned to them.
The pay for their hard work all these years,they said is the recent sackings with the staff delegate amongst those fired.
“Of recent, the school was involved in firing over 15 teachers and non teaching staff of the institution amongst whom are those who have worked for over 10 years under the same conditions”, the letter added saying that,”.All our letters that were served to us to indicate discontinuance of our contracts of employment are full of lies, flimsy excuses and are vindictive surely coming from mediocre administrators whose positions are threatened by our presence”
Calling for administrative redress,the teachers noted that,”None of us have been reprimanded,None of us have been served a warning letter,None of us have responded to a query letter.We have never been suspended from work without salaries.We have not had any prior notice to this termination.This is not the right procedure for terminating the contract of employment of an unspecified duration”
However,the proprietor Ndumu Rueben Kehndinga says the decision taken against them followed due procedure with well grounded motives.
“There have been lukewarm attitude from the teachers.They all have personal motives.The reason for their dismissal is not common amongst them”, Reuben told MMI alleging that,”Their issues include,not presenting lesson notes,not coming to school in time, absenting without permission, refusal to invigilate GCE exams though we are a GCE center”
Confirming that most of them had no work contract, Reuben said,”Out of the 15, only the secretary had work contracts.The rest were mostly semi-permanent teachers”
“We have 156 teachers who are of three categories.We have permanent workers paid on 12months and registered with CNPS which can be verified. Some are semi-permanent teachers paid on 10months while some are paid on hours (part time)”, he said adding that, “They all recieved their letters before we went to mark the GCE because we wanted to respect their 10 months pay”
Debunking claims that the teachers were wrongfully terminated, ABCHS proprietor revealed that,”they were all served querry letters before dismissal. I called them to my office and spoke to them about the complaints we have against them but they failed to redress their situation”