The teachers’ strike has sharpened tensions in Guinea, where violent protests against President Alpha Conde have unfolded following elections. By CELLOU BINANI (AFP)
Guinea’s powerful teachers’ union called off a month-long strike on Wednesday after reaching an agreement with the government on pay conditions.
The strikes have paralysed the country’s education system and fractured relations between teachers, parents and the state, while President Alpha Conde has faced criticism for allowing the industrial action to drag on.
Aboubacar Soumah, the secretary general of the SLECG teachers’ union, declared the strike over after signing an agreement with the Inspector General for Work, Alya Camara.
The union has gained a guarantee of a 40-percent pay increase agreed in 2017 which was only partially implemented in February.
The two sides have also agreed to negotiations on May 2-25 for a base salary of eight million Guinean francs (717 euros, $880) and to a promise that strikers would not be punished.
“Each of us put the interests of Guinea first, through the children who should be back at school,” said government mediator Mohamed Said Fofana.
President Conde’s authority has been sorely tested by the strike, which followed similar industrial action last year.
He also faces near-daily protests from the opposition, which claims February 4 local elections were rigged.