Some teachers at Central High School in Blantyre yesterday staged a sit-in over disparities in salaries and other benefits between local and foreign teachers.
A representative of the concerned teachers, Jackson Buhendwa, said the concerns are long overdue and they have been engaging the Ministry of Labour on the issue but have not been helped.
He said, apart from salary disparities, no local teacher at the institution is on medical scheme or funeral cover.
“The strike is about the pay structure [compared to] our counterparts from other countries who get 10 times more than what we get. We have been complaining but no one has helped us and we are tired [of this]. We complained to the Labour Office, but we were told the issue had to be referred to the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour,” he said.
The school’s administrator a Mr Harilaal, could not divulge more information but promised to meet the concerned teachers yesterday afternoon to resolve the dispute.
The striking teachers expressed reservation over the meeting arguing that all meetings have ended in vain.
“Our human resource officer consulted the Labour Office in the morning, the very same office which refused to help us in the first place, and they are calling for a meeting this afternoon,” Buhendwa said.
However, a letter authored by the school’s Head Teacher, Barry Kennedy, has indicated that the strike continues today as the teachers and school authorities could not reach a compromise yesterday.
“The dialogue between the teachers and the school board is continuing, but [the issue] has not yet been resolved successfully. Unfortunately, our students will not be in school on Wednesday. We are eager for the situation to be resolved so that we can get back to teaching and learning,” reads part of the letter.
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