Solidarity Call from Haiti Teachers
Teachers and Supporters protesting in Haiti last Month
The teaching union in Haiti is calling for international solidarity for their upcoming strike
Haitian teachers and their supporters rallied in September and October to demand that education in the country be funded properly. As they have had no response from the government they are holding a demonstration and two day strike on October 25th and 26th. The Union - UNNOH - is calling for all teachers, pupils, parents, adminstrators and university workers to mobilise in answer to their call for a real commitment to education and improved conditions for teachers. A full list of their demands (taken from the PSC website) is:
- Full payment of all arrears of salary and credentialling of teachers already employed and graduating students from the teachers’ colleges (ENS, ENI, CFEF, FIA);
- A minimum monthly salary of 50, 000 gourdes [US $1,186], as laid out in UNNOH’s Convention Final Report, and social benefits for all teachers;
- A law establishing the status of the teacher and the application of the law on school fees;
- 30-34% of the national budget to be devoted to education (30% for K-12 and 4% for public higher education which at present gets only 0.55%);
- Decent working conditions at all levels of education;
- Participation of teachers’ unions in the administration of social welfare insurance;
- Establishment of a real quality public education system to guarantee free access to education;
- Setting in motion a vaccination program in all schools and colleges against cholera, which still kills daily, and all the necessary measures by the UN and the government to eradicate it;
- Cafeterias in all schools and colleges to guarantee a hot meal to all students, teachers, and other workers.
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, teachers worked often for no pay to try to re-establish education in the shattered country. However subsequent to that, US neo-liberal schools chief, Paul Vallas was parachuted in to the country to rebuild the school system on privatised neo-liberal lines. Read more about this aspect of the background to this story here. In the mean time teachers were still unpaid for months on end.
UNNOH is calling urgently for international solidarity for their struggle:
UNNOH calls on you again to send letters of support to the email addresses of the Prime Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Minister of Education (email@example.com), with copies to UNNOH at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, UNNOH seeks financial contributions to a special fund being set up to support the strike and mobilization for a quality public education and for better treatment of the teachers of Haiti.