An assessment of factors influencing newly employed teachers’ choice of teacher trade unions in public secondary schools in Lusaka district.
Nzala, Lisa Vaidah
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The proliferation of teachers’ unions in Zambia has led new teachers to consider certain factors before choosing which union to join. This happens against the backdrop of some teachers being automatically added to unions they did not apply to belong. This study was undertaken to assess the factors that influence newly employed teachers’ choice of teacher trade unions in public secondary schools of Lusaka District. The study considered the influence of expected economic benefits; peers and leadership of the unions. Using the cross-sectional approach, the study drew a purposively selected sample of 50 teachers recruited between 2014 and 2017 and subjected them to a structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and Themes. The study found that new teachers were recruited to the unions by formal application, as was the case with 92% of respondents. Financial incentives were not a significant factor influencing teachers to join a trade union. The main factors influencing teachers to join the trade unions were individual benefits and the manner unions are managed. On the other hand, economic factors were found to have less influence on teachers’ decision to join unions in secondary schools. In addition, most teachers in secondary schools joined unions of choice willfully. The study concluded that while the system of recruiting newly employed teachers was effective, the teachers were influenced more by personal factors rather than the attributes of respective unions and influence from peers. The study therefore recommends that teacher unions to be more competitive and service oriented in order to attract more members and remain relevant by providing quality service in the quest to improve conditions of service for the teachers they represent.
The University of Zambia