BUJUMBURA June 8th (ABP) – The Burundi Teachers Union (STEB) positively appreciates the exercise of union’s rights and social obligations, although there is yet another step to take, said Mr. Philippe Ntibatingeso, a member of the STEB executive committee and delegate of that union, in an exchange workshop on social dialogue at the workplace. The workshop was organized on Thursday June 6th at Buhonda in Kanyosha commune, for the union’s representatives in the communes, religious denominations, the parents’ representative and the partner unions in the Bujumbura province (west), a check by ABP revealed.

The objective of the workshop was to popularize the laws related to union’s rights and social obligations of teachers in order to get educational partners to contribute in their implementation, said Mr. Ntibatingeso, noting that teachers are called upon to defend their socio-professional interests and provide quality education for all.

The exercise of the union’s right in Burundi has made significant progress, the STEB delegate acknowledged, because unionists have the right to freely elect their representatives and the right to negotiation. He thanked the government for setting up the National Council for Social Dialogue, a framework for exchange and negotiation, which ended the recurring strikes of yesteryear.

Regarding the state of affairs in the exercise of the union’s rights and socio-professional freedoms in Bujumbura province, the STEB provincial representative and the communal representatives indicated that the collaboration with the territorial and school authorities is good, although some communal directors of education, technical and vocational training have not yet understood that a union’s representative is not an enemy or a subversive at school. Also, he concluded, the issue of redeployed teachers who were later allowed to return to the Bujumbura City Council is a big problem, as the directors deny them service certificates, claiming that they cannot issue those certificates at the end of the year, to avoid gaps in the respective schools.

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