By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
A group of teachers, “Teachers For Change,” is set to register the group as a union of Gambian teachers distancing themselves from the umbrella teachers’ body, the Gambia Teachers Union.
The leadership of Teachers for Change (TFC) announced that the group will be registered as a legal entity within two months and members will stop paying union dues to Gambia Teachers Union upon registration.
“The Teachers For Change is to be registered as a union within a period of two months. After the registration, members of TFC will not pay any monthly due to the GTU without the consent of the members” they revealed.
Speaking to The Fatu Network, the Public Relations Officer of TFC, Alhasan Ceesay, said that TFC came into existence because of the failures of The Gambia Teachers Union. He claimed that the umbrella body of teachers in the country has failed.
“GTU has failed teachers woefully. It is a money-making institution to the detriment of struggling teachers. It is a union that takes from its members monthly and never returned anything in form of welfare”, he asserted.
Pointing out the failures of the Gambia Teachers Union which he said Teachers For Change will work on, Ceesay said that the Gambia is the only country where teachers will not be paid for invigilating external examinations.
“GTU is watching as teachers are used as bait. In short, GTU doesn’t care except for bragging about how much they have amassed monetary digits while teachers’ situations look more dilapidated.
According to Mr Ceesay, TFC will uphold the dignity and respect teachers deserve in the country.
He added that Teachers For Change has a realistic national interest and will offer teachers a union that is malleable to the needs of its members.
The Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) is the only recognised and legally established Union of Gambian teachers. Teachers across the country in the government pay scale pay monthly union dues to the Union.
With the emergency of Teachers For Change to be registered and building in the lapses of GTU, teachers in the Gambia will be divided between GTU and TFC.