Catholic Teachers End Strike, Students Jubilant

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A weeklong dispute resulting in Catholic School teachers embarking on a go-slow action in demand for salary arrears and other benefits has finally been resolved.

The teachers resumed classes yesterday, amid joyous dancing and singing by students, in thanksgiving to God for the end of yet another crisis that could have jeopardized their education.

The impasse was resolved following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the aggrieved teachers and the Archdiocesan Education Council (AEC).

Under the MOU, teachers will as of yesterday, receive their salary arrears and other benefits for two of the five months that they had demanded from the CES.

The parties also agreed that the CES would take no reprisals against any member of the Association of Teachers and Support Staff.

The association, on the other hand, agreed immediately to withdraw a complaint filed at the Ministry of Labor demanding their salary arrears.

The agreement was brokered by the Liberia Council of Churches, Liberia National Student Union (LINSU), Catholic Youth Association, Parent  Teacher Association (PTA) the MOE and Attorney-At-Law, former Minister of Labor and Public Works, Samuel Kofi Woods.

The teachers abandoned their classrooms after schools reopened on Monday February 16, demanding payment of arrears accrued by the CES during the period of the Ebola crisis.

The teachers’ action on Friday sparked angry protest from students within the system who also demanded the intervention of (MOE authorities to head off what they feared would be a loss of even more academic time and seriously affect their preparation for the upcoming national exams.

Meanwhile, the head of the Catholic Teachers Association, Alphonso Quire, welcomed the agreement, noting that it was intended in good faith to restore the teachers and support staff’s lost respect and dignity.

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