Organization denounces the arbitrary dismissal of seven public teachers

The Teachers’ Union Unit (USM) denounced the unjustified dismissal of at least seven teachers from different territories of Nicaragua, during the last two weeks of May. The teacher and member of the Unit, whom we will call “Karla” to avoid reprisals against her, does not rule out that more teachers remain unemployed, after the pressures that the union is experiencing in a system dominated by authorities related to the Sandinista Front.

Contrary to the previous dismissals of teachers, whose notification letters in which they dispensed with their contracts did not cite any article evidencing the illegality of the procedure; On this occasion, the letters delivered to teachers in the offices of the respective delegations of the Ministry of Education (Mined) are based on the application of article 32, subsection 4 of Law 114, the Teaching Career Law, which guides how to proceed with the dismissal of the educator “in case of conduct that seriously contravenes professional ethics in accordance with the regulations of this law.”

They also point out teachers for breaching the Code of Ethics for Public Servants. In article 13, paragraph B, they state that the “public servant must abstain absolutely from exercising his functions or authority for purposes other than the public interest. To this end, he must not under any circumstances link his private life with the performance of the position he holds or use it for harassment, harassment or seduction of any kind”.

“Karla” explained that one of the intimidating methods used by the Mined to pressure teachers, mainly men, is to threaten them with legal proceedings for harassment. For the same reason, the affected teachers —two from the North Caribbean, three from Managua and two from Tipitapa— preferred to channel their cases through the USM and prevent their names from being known.

One of the teachers, who agreed to speak with CONFIDENTIAL Under the condition of keeping his identity confidential, he said he received a phone call from the municipal delegation, went to the scene and was surprised to see police officers around the institution. She entered the place and the person in charge of human resources handed her her dismissal letter without giving any kind of explanation.

The teacher, with 35 years of experience, considered that the authorities expected another reaction from him and that is why the Police were outside, but he only thanked them and left.

He assured that his dismissal is a “political retaliation”, since the educational authorities clearly know that “I am not of their (political) line”. Before he was given his dismissal letter, the teacher endured various pressures that sought to make him resign his position. At the same time, he clarified that he does not understand the application of the articles against him, since he has never had problems in schools or any calls for attention, that is why he denounces that “what they did is not fair.”

Organization denounces the arbitrary dismissal of seven public teachers
Dismissal letter delivered to a Mined delegation to a teacher, who described the action as “unfair.” Photo: Courtesy

totally unprotected teachers

Professor “Karla” explained that teachers are completely unprotected because they have nowhere to go to defend their rights. Added to this is the fear that the prison threats could become a reality.

“They are going to say goodbye one by one. Because it’s not in their interest to make the massive ruckus like they did (in 2018). They have already identified all the teachers who are not theirs (related to Ortega)”, denounced the teacher.

Another teacher, originally from Tipitapa, pointed out that the authorities took advantage of a particular disciplinary problem he had with a student to pressure him to present his resignation letter under the threat that if he did not do so, they could open a legal case against him.

The USM warned that it is possible that more teachers have been fired recently, but there is a lot of fear in the union to report the cases.

They advise all teachers to comply with the demands of the Mined, even when they involve linking educational activities with supporters, to avoid inconveniences that could be used to cancel their contracts.

According to the USM from April 2018 to May 2021, 139 teachers were fired. Many were called “traitors, terrorists and criminals” for supporting the students in the protests; some had to go into exile due to threats against them, indicates the union group, which is currently updating the data of teachers fired for political reasons.

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