Angolan teachers strike begins with 100% participation

Angolan teachers began a general strike Wednesday that will last until the 30th of this month, demanding answers to the issues in the booklet of demands, delivered three years ago to the Ministry of Education, a union source told media.
According to the secretary-general of the National Teachers Union (Sinprof), the level of adhesion is 100%, confirming the paralysis of classes in at least all schools in the center of the city of Luanda.
“The level of adhesion is 100%, there are really no classes,” said Admar Jinguma, stressing that in the last two days there has been no contact with the Ministry of Education.
“The ministry preferred to lie, as a way to demobilize them [teachers], that they learned about the strike via social networks, which is not true,” he added.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the ministry said it had learned of the strike through social networks and that it had already met 7 of the 10 points in the demands, appealing to Sinprof’s “good being” “in the sense of reviewing its position.”
The General Secretary of Sinprof, for his part, expressed openness to dialogue with the employer.
“That’s why we initially started an interpolated strike, we are open to dialogue, at any time, any hour of the day, that the Government calls, we won’t hesitate, we’ll go there to hear what guarantees they have to get around the situation,” he stressed.
Admar Jinguma presents another version about the response to the union’s demands, pointing out that the demands were delivered three years ago and since that time there has been no progress in the negotiations about the demands made, namely in terms of remuneration issues and subsidies.
Isolation allowances, reduction of the Labour Income Tax (IRT) and the issue of regulating mono-teaching, are some of the issues included in the booklet, he said.
The union member pointed out that the law gives only 21 days to negotiate a demand notebook, but they have been negotiating for three years.
With the paralysis of classes, about 11 million primary and secondary school students are affected throughout the country.
The Angolan Minister of Education, Luísa Grilo, asked on Tuesday for “consideration and a vote of confidence” from the teachers of general education, assuring that the executive is working to resolve their claims.
“The executive is working to respond to the concerns presented, some of them have already been solved, others are in the process of being solved, and so I would appeal to my colleagues for some consideration, a vote of confidence, because we are working to give a solution to their demands,” the minister said.
Luísa Grilo, who was speaking in the province of Zaire, north of Angola, where she presided over the National Educators’ Day event, said that her office has not yet received written information about the national strike of teachers.