Re-examining the role of teacher trade unions‟ in promoting welfare and sustained livelihood for their members: a case of teacher trade unions in Lusaka, Zambia
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: We investigated the role of teacher trade unions in promoting teacher welfare and sustained livelihood for their members in Lusaka District of Zambia. The objectives of the study were to; explore how the teacher unions have helped in promoting teacher welfare and sustained livelihood; and determine measures that teacher unions can take to support the teacher welfare and sustained livelihood. A descriptive study design was employed on a target population that comprised four (4) national teacher union officials targeting one (1) official from each of the four national teacher trade union secretariats, 16 teachers, and 16 union leaders at school level of selected schools. Purposive sampling method was used to sample national teacher trade union officials and four school level union leaders from selected primary and secondary schools in Lusaka District. Data was collected through interviews; focus group discussion; and documentary review were thematically analyzed and interpreted, respectively. The study revealed that teacher trade unions were instrumental in providing legal representation of members and in collective bargaining, but their role did not effectively result in motivational conditions of service for promoting enhanced teacher welfare and sustained livelihood. The study recommended that provision of non-traditional incentives such as; education assistance; facilitation of land acquisition; funeral support; financial benefits; health scheme; mortgage; decentralization of functions would have positive impact on teacher welfare and sustained livelihood. The study also recommended that teacher trade unions needed to reposition themselves by re-organizing themselves through employing more innovation as opposed to following traditional approaches to improving member benefits. Teacher trade unions further needed to focus on knowledge empowerment for lower level union leadership structures at school level in order to improve representation of teachers, enhance workers’ education and to diversify into sustainable business ventures that would enhance the union funds, and develop pool fund to be used to empower members. Keyword: Teacher Unions, Role, Teacher welfare, Sustained Livelihood.
International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science