The Confederation of teachers’ unions hosted a press conference to express their concerns about wage policy. Emmanuel Mashandari, vice-president of Cosessona, began with a reminder of the agreements signed between the government of Burundi and the teachers’ unions.
«Since the teachers’ unions raised the issue of wage disparities, attempts at solutions have been carried out after long negotiations. It is from these atempts that the government concluded an agreement with the teachers’ unions, on the modalities of eradicating wage injustice ». The agreement was reached on 10 April 2015. The agreement comprised two phases. First, a transitional stage of salary adjustment which was to last 4 years and characterised by the reduction of annals for higher salaries.
Second, the phase of implementation of a fair wage policy, also known as wage harmonisation.
It was also time for carrying out a study to find out the causes of these disparities and to propose a final solution through a fairly articluated wage policy. At no one’s surprise, this study revealed huge wage differentials, which were a result of bonuses and allowances granted to some sectors at the detriment of others on the one hand ; and some special statutes which may have deviated from the general statute of civil servants on the other.
To avoid new sectoral speculations, the study fixed the criteria for salary namely :
– The competence part which will depend on the required qualification to occupy such or such function for the new ones and the actual basic salary for those who are already working.
– The employment part which is a remuneration for the function held
– The family allowance part which will be determined later.
In addition to these elements, the study proposes a performance part which will be a one-off supplement to the salary according to the performance achieved by the employee. After fixing the various components of wages and claculating the value of the employment, it was observed that instead of finding a solution to these disparities, wages have gone downwards, a situation much deplored by cosessona.
In conclusion, the vice-president of Cosassona pointed out that the government and the teachers’ unions have always had points of disagreement on certain issues. Therefore, the cosassona invited the government to organise, in the near future, a meeting with the teachers’ syndicates, for a common understanding of the document in relation to wage policy.