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Tunisia: Labour union calls for teachers not to strike

March 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Archive picture of Tunisian teachers protesting [Al-Sharq]

Cracks are appearing in Tunisia’s General Labour Union (UGTT) after one of its branches called for a teachers’ strike which the main group does not support, agencies reported yesterday.

In a statement, the UGTT said: “We are calling for all the bodies related to the secondary schools to continue their work alongside discussions related to achieving their demands.”

This comes after the Secondary School Union, a branch of the UGTT, called for an open-ended strike aiming to oust the Minister of Education Naji Jalloul.

The UGTT statement stressed that the “calls for the reformation of the education system must not be politicised.”

Lasad Yakoubi, secretary-general of the Secondary School Union, considered the UGTT’s statement a “dangerous precedent”.

Teachers are being exposed to the worst verbal and physical abuse campaign

he said, referring to the language used by the UGTT in its statement. He called for teachers to “maintain self-control and not to deal or respond to this statement or lower themselves to the level of its language.”

The Secondary School Union held an exceptional meeting on Sunday and decided to continue the strike.

In response to the UGTT’s statement, the union said: “The teachers have the right to use all legal forms of resistance to defend their just demands.”