WALVIS BAY: More than 200 teachers from various Walvis Bay schools gathered here on Monday in a show of unison with teachers in the Khomas Region who are demanding that salary negotiations which commenced last October, be concluded.
The teachers from the various schools in the harbour town were mobilised by a concerned group of teachers to air their views on the delay in salary negotiations between Government and the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu).
Addressing the teachers, executive organiser of Nantu’s Walvis Bay branch, David Gaweseb, stated that the teachers decided to meet because they are frustrated and want to be informed about the progress of the negotiations.
“There is a kind of empty space, a lack of information dissemination and we at the regional level cannot wait any longer to be informed what the verdict is,” he said.
Gaweseb accused the union of contributing to the coastal teachers’ frustration.
“They are not keeping us in the loop with regards to the progress of the negotiations,” he said.
The teachers have now indicated that they will embark on a “go-slow” strike as from Tuesday in support of their colleagues in the capital.
“We will report to school as usual, but will not be teaching until we have organised the region in support of our colleagues in the Khomas and Hardap Regions,” said one teacher.
It was also decided by those in attendance at the meeting that a letter will be drafted containing all the teachers’ demands, and this will be handed over to the Ministry of Education (MoE)’s circuit office in Walvis Bay.
Learners from various schools in the Khomas Region were sent home on Monday as about 1 000 teachers took to the streets and marched to the MoE head office in Windhoek.
The teachers were led by the Interim Khomas Teachers’ Strategic Committee after the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) secretariat for the Khomas Region was suspended by the National Teachers’ Council (NTC) last Friday.
The teachers who demonstrated in front of the MoE head office were not granted permission to hand over their petition to Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo, by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol).
They then vowed to continue with the demonstrations until their demands are heard by Iyambo.
Iyambo hurriedly called a media conference on Monday where he, accompanied by his deputy David Namwandi and his Permanent Secretary (PS) Alfred Ilukena, explained that the strike is illegal as the MoE does not recognise the interim committee which notified the ministry about the planned strike today.