President asks Teachers Association for proposal to address grievances

The Teachers Association of Maldives (TAM) met President Abdulla Yameen on Wednesday (September 24) to discuss pay rises and education sector reform after a calling off a planned nationwide strike.

TAM informed local media following the one-hour meeting at the President’s Office that the president listened to teachers’ concerns and asked for a proposal on addressing grievances about pay and other issues.

The proposal on increasing salary for teachers and improving efficiency in the education sector would be submitted next month following consultation with the education ministry, TAM said.

The response from President Yameen was “positive” and TAM received assurances that a pay rise would be considered.

“The government’s decision to sit for talks and compile a timeline [on meeting the demands] is a sign President Yameen himself attended to the teacher’s demands,” TAM President Athif Abdul Hakeem told Minivan News on Sunday (September 21) after teachers went on to work dressed in black.

The Ministry of Education had earlier appeared unwilling to give in to teachers’ demands for higher pay and reform, while the Labor Relations Authority reportedly labelled the proposed strike as ‘not peaceful’.

A statement from the Civil Service Commission meanwhile noted that government was treating the potential strike as illegal.

Grievances raised by TAM include revised pay, protection of teachers and students, and official recognition of the association.