19 Jul 2007

Solomons Education Ministry questions legality of teachers strike

7:46 am on 19 July 2007

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Education is seeking legal clarification on the nation-wide strike action by the National Teachers Association or SINTA.

The ministry's Permanent Secretary Barnabas Anga has advised the Prime Minister's office he holds the view that the strike action could be unlawful.

He says he is seeking clarification over the legality with the Chambers of the Attorney General.

The six-thousand striking teachers are frustrated that the government is yet to implement provisions agreed to in a MOU signed in January.

The provisions include the teachers Scheme of Service, re-leveling the pay structure, paying long service benefits back-dated to July 2006, certification of probationers and teachers travel arrangements.

Mr Anga said even though the MOU has expired at the end of June, SINTA has already refered the case to the Trade Disputes Panel, which has now commenced its processes with the case.

He says the Ministry will prioritise the adjustment of salaries of the teachers after verifying the submissions from their respective Education's Authorities.

Mr Anga says the re-levelling exercise remains the top priority of the Government.