Discussions between striking teachers and the government have ended in a deadlock. For the fourth week in a row, thousands of secondary school students across Cameroon have not had classes.
Today, teachers’ syndicate leaders met with the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Gregoire Owona. Like in previous sessions with other top state officials, they maintained that measures announced by Government are insufficient.
Among their demands is the immediate support of the teachers in the process of integration as well as the complete payment of money owed teachers and the automation of advancements.
The teachers have been protesting what the termed poor treatment, nonpayment of their salaries, advancement and housing benefits and, absence of matricule numbers for some in service for decades. The demands in financial terms have been billed at over 181 billion FCFCA.
Despite a 2.7 Billion FCFA disbursement ordered March 7 and other emergency measures rolled out two days later on the instructions of President Paul Biya, the teachers have remained resolute.
Contrary to reports from state media and other pro- government news organs that the teachers called off their protest, classrooms have remained empty. To make matters worse, primary school teachers on Monday initiated their own strike action for similar reasons, and health workers are threatening to follow suite.
At the Government High School, GHS, in Japoma, Douala, teachers showed up yesterday Monday March 14 dressed in black. Assembling in the school courtyard, they brandished ‘Je suis Hamidou’ placards in solidarity with a colleague of theirs, Hamidou Yonki who died at the early stages of the protest.
Like many others, Hamidou who was a physical education teacher had taught for ten years without any advancement or pay from the state. The 38-year-old succumbed to ill health on March 8 in Beka District Hospital in the Faro Division of the North region.
The impasse continues.