Human Right

CNIDH pleads for temporary suspension of deduction from teachers’ salary.

The National Independent Commission for Human Rights has presented a seven-day investigation conducted on the conflict between two teachers’ unions-SYGEPEBU and SEPEDUC and a coalition of teachers’ union-COSESONA. The commission says the coalition violated the labor rules.

Sixte Vigny Nimuraba: “The deduction from an employee’s salary must be done with their consent”.

Sixte Vigny Nimuraba, Chairman of the National Independent Commission for Human Rights-CNIDH says the deduction of BIF 500 from teachers’ salary without their consent hasn’t been done in accordance with the law. “The deduction from an employee’s salary must be done with their consent in a presence of a written and signed document according to the national and international rules,” says Nimuraba.

CNIDH Chairman calls on the Ministry of Public Labor to temporarily suspend the deduction and wait for the list of teachers committed to contributing for national solidarity. The Rights Commission also exhorts the Special Coalition of Teachers’ Union for National Solidarity-COSESONA- not to force teachers to join the coalition. He, however, says the latter should continue to sensitize teachers to the importance of national solidarity without any kind of intimidation. “The special coalition of teachers-COSESONA should organize consultations before imposing the deduction from the teachers’ salaries,” says Nimuraba adding that the Rights Commission isn’t against national solidarity.

Sixte Vigny Nimuraba also pleads for the release of three leaders of unions detained since 9 January. “The judicial police should release them to encourage and facilitate dialogue sessions,” he says adding that the National Commission for Social Dialogue has already intervened.Meanwhile,Antoine Manuma, CEPEDUC Chairman and Gérard Niyongabo, SYGEPEBU Chairman have been released in the afternoon of January 21.

Two teachers’ unions namely the Union of Professional Teachers in Burundi (SEPEDUC) and the General Union of the Teaching Staff in Burundi (SYGEPEBU) are against the forced deduction of BIF 500 from the teachers’ salary imposed by COSESONA in 2017 and 2019. The Rights Commission asks COSESONA to avail a report on the management of the contribution already made.

Joselyne Ndayizeye, Deputy Chairperson of SYGEPEBU appreciates the results of the investigation conducted by the Rights Commission. She, however, says it would be better to hold permanent dialogue sessions to find solutions to other issues. “Some teachers are now forced to sign on the list and join the coalition,” he says. Meanwhile, COSESONA extends the signature deadline which was set on 20 January but it is now fixed on 31 January. “Teachers should continue to register for the national solidarity”, says Venant Ndabaniwe, COSESONA Chairman.