Strike may be unlawful: VTU

VTU President Abiut and Acting SG Willie Sandy warn members to think carefully before engaging themselves in an industrial action over pay anomalies

Members of the Vanuatu Teachers Union (VTU) who want to engage in a strike over salary anomalies must follow legal procedures which includes getting approval from the union.

VTU President, Willie Abiut, made this statement following allegations that some teachers affiliated to the North-East Efate VTU Branch are mobilizing teachers for a strike.

”The VTU Management wants to clarify that VTU has nothing to do with the strike,” he said.

“This group of teachers do not represent the union.

”Members must think carefully before engaging themselves in a strike.

”VTU will not defend you (members) against any discipline from Teaching Service Commission (TSC) if the strike is determined to be unlawful.

”The only body that is recognized by the government under the bargaining agreement to address teacher’s issues is VTU. Therefore, VTU can sue any group trying to misrepresent or ruin its name.”

While the VTU President has urged members to be patient, he said an industrial action would be an option if the government fails to meet the demands of the teachers by end of April this year.

”It seems that the government has not taken the teacher’s demands for better salaries and better working conditions seriously,” he added.

”The teachers have been waiting patiently since last year for the government to sort out their salary anomalies.

”There are a number of areas that the government also fail to address such as teacher’s transfer allowances, severances and increment.”

He stressed that some of the teachers in Vanuatu are struggling to make ends meet with low salaries and poor working conditions.

”Many are still teaching without pay while the government continue to increase the salary of parliamentarians and other public servants,” he added.

The Daily Post understands that some of the teachers have welcomed the planned industrial action as an avenue for the government to respond to their demands.

They are not happy that the negotiations between VTU, TSC and the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) have not resolved their demands.

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