Viewing cable 08CONAKRY608
Title: PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO OPEN ON MONDAY, TEACHERS PLAN TO

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08CONAKRY6082008-10-16 16:17:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO7364
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0608 2901617
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161617Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3037
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
UNCLAS CONAKRY 000608 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ELAB PGOV ASEC GV
SUBJECT: PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO OPEN ON MONDAY, TEACHERS PLAN TO 
GO TO WORK 
 
REF: CONAKRY 0325 
 
¶1.  (SBU) SUMMARY.  Guinea,s 2008/2009 public school year is 
set to begin on Monday, October 13.  The last session ended 
with a nationwide teacher strike in June during the national 
exam period (reftel), which was called off a week later when 
the GoG and the teachers negotiated an agreement.  However, 
the GoG has failed to implement most of the provisions of the 
agreement, which were supposed to have been completed before 
the start of the new school year.  A union leader told Poloff 
that the teachers plan to return to work on Monday as 
scheduled, but will likely be discussing their next course of 
action once they get settled in.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (SBU) Poloff met with Elhadj Sy Savane, secretary general 
of Guinea,s teacher,s union, on October 16 to discuss GoG 
progress toward fulfilling promises made in June after a 
week-long labor strike (reftel).  According to Savane, the 
GoG has successfully addressed two of the issues, but for the 
most part, the GoG has not upheld its end of the bargain. 
 
¶3.  (SBU) Pursuant to the negotiated agreement, the GoG 
implemented a salary increase in June that had been approved 
months earlier.  In September, the GoG began paying one of 
several agreed upon miscellaneous allowances for course 
preparation, insurance, licensing fees, etc.  In addition, 
the GoG and the teachers, union established an oversight 
committee to oversee the implementation of the agreement. 
The three education ministers, the finance minister, and the 
minister of public administration sit on the committee. 
Savane said that the committee had met several times and 
plans to do so again next week. 
 
¶4.  (SBU) However, the bulk of the union,s demands remain 
unresolved.  These demands include replacement of senior 
education officials, payment of salary arrears, hiring and 
appointment of new teachers, payment of the remaining 
allowances, conversion of contractors to permanent status, 
doubling of salaries, and payment of a government subsidy to 
the union. 
 
¶5.  (SBU) When asked about the GoG,s political will to 
address union complaints, Savane said that GoG has always 
been very good at making promises, but slow to act.  He said 
that Prime Minister Souare seems sincere in his commitment, 
but the implementation falls apart at the technical level. 
Offering an example, Savane said that the recently fired 
minister of finance was blocking many of the actions because 
of his refusal to release the needed funds.  &Sometimes we 
have to wait for the prime minister to intervene in order to 
move forward,8 he said. 
 
¶6.  (SBU) Despite the GoG,s failure to deliver on its 
promises, Savane said that the teachers plan to report to 
work on Monday as scheduled.  He did not discount the 
possibility of an eventual continuation of their labor 
strike, but said that everyone needs to come back to work so 
that they can have an opportunity to communicate and discuss 
the issues.  &Everyone has been out on vacation and 
difficult to reach; we have to wait for everyone to come back 
together,8 he said. 
 
¶7.  (SBU) Poloff noted that the GoG had postponed the start 
day from October 15 to October 20 for primary and secondary 
schools, and November 3 for universities, and asked if the 
delay had anything to do with the union,s issues.  According 
to Savane, the GoG was forced to delay the start date because 
of technical problems.  He said that some of the teachers had 
not been paid, materials had not been distributed, and some 
of the classrooms had not been adequately prepared, for 
example.  Savane said he thought classes would start on 
Monday as currently scheduled. 
 
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COMMENT 
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¶8. (SBU) In past meetings, Savane has been adamantly in favor 
of strike activity in order to force government action, even 
when a labor strike could have potentially unraveled the 
social situation as was the case in the aftermath of the 
military mutiny earlier this year.  Savane frequently refers 
to the strikes of 2006 and 2007, and has repeatedly indicated 
that he believes further social unrest is just around the 
corner.  Once the teachers get settled in and back to work, 
the unresolved union issues are likely to be a high priority 
topic for discussion amongst themselves.  END COMMENT. 
RASPOLIC