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Cablegate: Cote D'ivoire:Secondary School Teachers Strike

VZCZCXRO6419
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #0203 0541649
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231649Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2624
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 000203

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PGOV ASEC IV
SUBJECT: COTE D'IVOIRE:SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS STRIKE


1. (U) On February 19, Ivorian police arrested five members,
including the secretary general, of the secondary school
teachers, coordination, &Coordination des Enseignants du
Second Degre de Cote d,Ivoire8, CES-CI. Since February 6
this informal, unrecognized labor movement has been leading a
secondary school teachers strike which education minister,
Michel Amani N,Guessan declared illegal. CES-CI initially
called for a three day strike, to demand a five-fold increase
in housing allowances from CFA 40,000 (USD 80) per month to
CFA 200,000 (USD 400), and also to demand job
reclassifications which would result in higher salaries for
many teachers. After the minister declared the strike
illegal because the coordination is not a recognized union,
and refused to even discuss their demands, they extended it
indefinitely. At this stage, the national secondary school
teachers, union SYNESCI (National Union for Secondary School
Education in Cote d'Ivoire) joined the movement. CES-CI
contacts tell us that they have no intention of ending the
strike because of the February 19 arrests of their leaders,
and that 90 percent of the secondary school teachers
throughout the country are observing the strike.

2. (U) Comment. There about 20,000 secondary school
teachers. Thus, the increase in housing allowances alone
would cost the government about USD 6.4 million a month, and
major concessions to this group would only intensify the
demands of other disgruntled public sector workers. End
Comment.

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