- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 03:58
- Written by ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO
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THE High Court's Labour Division declared the ongoing teachers' strike illegal and ordered them to call it off.
"I hold that the strike which has been going on for three days is unlawful. I order that it should be terminated immediately and all teachers who are on strike to resume their duties forthwith," Judge Sophia Wambura ruled.
Since the strike was called through a press release, then Judge Wambura called on "the leaders who issued a signed press release, stating that teachers should not got to work until, they were ordered otherwise, should now prepare a press release calling for an end to the strike."
The judge ordered the respondents (Tanzania Teachers' Union) to pay damages monetarily and, or by compensating the students for the classes missed during the unlawful strike which should be explained in the press release.
"There is no doubt that the strike has inconvenienced the students' curricula and has caused irreparable loss," the judge said. Judge Wambura ruled that the strike was illegal because the notice given to support the same was insufficient.
She noted that according to the Employment Labour Relations Act, the respondents were required to provide 48 hours notice to the employer, prior to the commencement of the strike. But, she said, the notice was given on Friday evening, which falls on the weekend and the employer did not get enough time to safeguard its properties as required by law.
"To make it worse, the notice does not state when the strike will end. The strike which is indefinite is by itself unlawful," Judge Wambura said. The motive behind the ballot which teachers were told to cast was conducted in bad faith because they were not properly informed whether they were in support of the strike or demands for better salaries.
"It is apparent on the face of record that teachers were not fully informed on the consequences of a lawful and unlawful strike. By participating in an indefinite strike means that one has retired from employment or the employer can terminate his or her services," she stressed.
The judge advised that since all parties have expressed need to return to negotiations, then they should make deliberate efforts to reach an amicable settlement by even inviting persons who have adequate knowledge in labour laws.
The TTU President, Gratian Mukoba, said after the ruling that the Union would convene a press conference today to comment on the matter.