The National Union of Higher Education Teachers (Synes) has announced "a cessation of teaching activities" for Monday, October 16, to protest the non-payment of the modernization bonus to all beneficiary teachers.
The Ministry of Higher Education (Minesup) rejects the non-payment accusation, however. According to Professor Joël Meyolo, head of the Minesup communications department, the strike is not about the non-payment of the bonus.
The official explains that the bonus is being paid gradually based on fund availability. To date, he says, all the transfers, amounting to some 4.5 billion CFA Francs, have been made. “All that remains is for the last beneficiaries to receive the money in their bank accounts,” he says.
The SYNES does not deny the statement. It however blames the delay in the payments. "We're not saying that payments haven't started. It's precisely this way of doing things that we deplore. Why not pay teachers at the same time and on the same date? This morning, some teachers were telling us that they went to the bank and found out that the transfers were not made yet,” explains Firmin Moutil, SYNES national communications secretary, when contacted by Stop Bla Bla Cam.
The union official explains that several meetings have been held and letters sent to Minesup warning that a walkout would be launched if all the transfers for the third installment of the modernization bonus are not made by the October 15 deadline. "30% of teachers eligible for this bonus had not been paid by October 15," says Dr. Moutil. The delay is the problem, he indicates.
The union announces that a new data collection will be carried out on Wednesday to find out whether the last beneficiaries have received their dues. The result will decide on the way forward. According to SYNES’s figures, around 6,000 teachers are entitled to the modernization bonus. This bonus is awarded according to grade. An assistant professor is entitled to XAF385,000 per quarter, XAF680,000 per lecturer, a little over XAF860,000 per senior lecturer, and XAF1 million per professor.