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'Truce' in teachers strike, but unions insist on demands

MISNA | Published on October 14, 2005

Congolese schools will reopen on Monday after over a month long teachers strike in demand for better salary and work conditions. According to MISNA sources in the capital Kinshasa, the two main unions of the primary, secondary and professional education sector (Syeco' and Synecat') suspended the protest for the next two and a half months in an objective to not penalise the students, who for the most part have not begun the academic year due to have opened September 5. The union leaders however reiterated that they will continue to uphold their demands, in particular the application of the so-called Mbudi Accord', signed last February and that foresees the gradual increase of salaries based on professional seniority and role covered; they are ready to resume the strike if the government does not meet their demands. Two days ago, also the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Frédéric Etsou, intervened in the episode calling on the sides to reach an accord. It is time for all to assume their responsibilities. School is the only security for the children, it made us who we are today, stated the Cardinal, adding: Let's assure the same formation to the youths that will take our place tomorrow.

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