Essa Sowe, Deputy SG of GTU

By Louise Jobe

Mr Essay Sowe the Deputy Secretary General of Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) has said that the GTU have been registered formally as the legal Representatives of the teaching fraternity.

Mr. Sowe also said that “We are the legitimate Representatives of the teachers of this country, particularly the members of the organisation”. So if members of GTU should have any concerns; they should address these concerns to the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) and if they are not satisfied with the leadership let them follow the Constitution and vote them out.

He said that that they are not entertaining anybody. In as much as the virtue of Democracy is tolerance that does not mean that you should take the law in your hands.

“As I keep on emphasising that if the problem is internal let us come together and fix it.”

He also said that they must be allowed to do their job because they are the legitimate authorities of the teachers, if the problem is internal that the staffs are not performing then let them replace us. But the (TFC) cannot just sit down and insist that what they wanted must be done.

And that the way forward is that they must be conscious of GTU motto, that is, Solidarity forever. So as far as they are concerned they are following the dictates of their Constitution. Nobody will drag them to a strike within an unreasonable framework.

The Deputy Secretary General said that they have never said that the teachers’ salaries must not be increased neither the teachers ID cards.  So if the members of the TFC task force committee say on the Mass media that the GTU did not respect fully the resolutions, that is the most misleading statement and that they did not understand the resolution.

The resolution has four (4) issues.

“1. It says all teachers who participated in February strike must not be victimised

  1. ID cards for teachers must be resolved by 30 May, a meeting was convened on the 30 May and the minister brought a box half full of ID cards to say they have started the process but the task force group had said that this is not enough.
  2. Double shift allowances including others to be paid on time and not beyond October, when you are going on strike in September, that is contradictory because that was not part of the agreement. The executive of the GTU engaged the government.
  3. Cluster payment of teachers, issuing of salary slips to teachers and conduct of study classes must be addressed.”

He pointed that this is why the GTU are waiting for the ministry to act and if not they can do their action.

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