Strike, “is an organised work stoppage by a body of workers to enforce compliance with demands made on an employer or a group of employers.” It is an aspect of industrial conflict used by workers to express their grievances. It is a collective, organized, cessation or slowdown of work by employees, to force acceptance of their demands by the employers.
In the education sector, teachers’ strike can be compared to students’ examination malpractice, corruption and other social vices in the society. Strike is a social ill not different from corruption because it eats into students’ time which makes it difficult for students to be fully and properly ‘baked’ within the designated educational time frame. As a result, ‘products’ that are ill equipped in both character and learning are turned out to the society.
A strike in labour or employment relations is a combined action of a group of employees, thereby withdrawing their labour totally or partially, with the purpose of persuading an employer to succumb to their combined demands. From the foregoing, it can be said that strike is a deliberate action or decision taken by a group of individuals with the same interest towards their employers to stop working for several reasons. It is withholding normal work activities by individuals due to inability of such workers to reach a consensus with their employers.
Workers and employers usually reach agreements after negotiations but in some cases one party may refuse to honor the agreements. For example, The TFC claims that several promises were made by the Education authorities within a given time line to address their problems but nothing has been done.
This sit-in strike is coming at a time when the Education authorities have failed to comply with already negotiated agreements resulting in unnecessary delay in payments of salaries and other emoluments. When there is a delay in payment of salaries without a justifiable reason for such delay, workers may embark on strike for such salaries to be paid.
As school reopens the Ministry of Education should do its utmost best to meet the demands of the TFC and not to circumvent and do business with the GTU. The GTU is well aware that the TFC is getting bigger and stronger every day.
It won’t be fair to our children to suffer at this time when parents are already complaining over the costs they incur in sending their children to school