A study on the perceptions of Teachers on Teacher Unions representation at the School level: A case of selected Primary and Secondary Schools in Lusaka District
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Teacher union representation has been in existence for a long time, but the extent to which teacher unions represents teachers at school level remains uncertain. The study was guided by the following specific objectives; (1) To examine the goals of teacher unions (2) To investigate how teacher members perceive teacher union representation at school level (3) To find out the extent to which teacher union address the welfares of teacher members at school level (4) To establish if teacher members benefit from monthly subscriptions fee at school level (5) To find out if teacher unions and teacher members hold elections and meetings at school level (6) To determine if splinter unionism affects representation of teacher members at school level.A descriptive survey design was used with combined qualitative and quantitative methods. Data was collected through interview schedules and questionnaires. The sample consisted of one twenty three (123) participants; 80 unionised teachers, 30 local union representatives, 10 head teachers and 03 ministry officials ie District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Senior Education Standards Officer (SESO) and Education Standards Officer (ESO). Stratified random sampling and Purposive sampling techniques were used to select the sample. Qualitative data was analysed by coding and grouping similar themes together into groups using constant comparative techniques while quantitative data was analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS).Tables and graphs were used in the presentation of data after data analysis.The findings of the study revealed that; 63(84%) of respondents perceived social welfare and workloads/enrolment as not being adequately represented. 56(75%)respondents felt supportive teaching environment has not been adequately as well. Meanwhile 49(65.3%) of respondents indicated early confirmation has not well been represented.Following the findings of the study the following recommendations were made;Teacher unions should re organise local union structures at school level to improve representation of teacher welfares.Teacher unions should consider merging into one strong union for effective representation of teachers’ welfares at school level.There should be proper communication and feedback made between teacher members and local union representatives.Local union representatives must ensure that elections are held as stipulated by their constitutions and meetings should be held regularly with teacher members.
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