The Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) has expressed concern over government’s delays in addressing issues the Union has been raising for a long time.
Among the concerns are delays in confirming, through letters, the promotion of 10,000 teachers and giving teachers leave grants.
Others are non-payment of allowances by Malawi National Examination Board (Maneb) to 2015 invigilators and supervisors and omission of teachers on March 2015 salaries list.
The Union also fears that there will be no salary increment for teachers in 2016/17 fiscal year.
The concerns are raised in a report Tum Secretary General, Denis Kalekeni, presented to the 21st General Congress of Tum, which was held on Saturday.
On the Maneb issue and omission of teachers on salaries, Tum has given government a deadline of November 15, 2015, failing which they will engage in an industrial action.
“It is also a pity that some teachers were omitted during the payment of March 2015 salaries due to migration from the old to new system of salary disbursement. Government seems not to care to pay the omitted teachers,” reads part of the report.
“TUM has also given an ultimatum to government, through the Ministry of Education, to pay the affected teachers by November 15 , failure of which shall be a cause for a strike combined with non-payment of MSCE invigilation and supervision allowances by Maneb.”
Tum said the nationwide strike shall encompass all grievances of teachers.
In an interview after the opening of the Congress, Deputy Minister of Education, Vincent Ghambi, said although there are still some problems, government is trying its best to address teachers’ concerns.
“We have had a lot of problems. But when you look at the situation today, it is much better. Even Tum itself has acknowledged to say they are now able to get their salaries in time. Teachers used to work for, maybe, three months without getting their salaries, some even more than that. Now those problems are sorted out,” Ghambi said.
He added: “We cannot sort all the problems at once. But we have made a very good progress. We have some few problems but they are not as many as they used to be. Let me assure Tum that the problems will be resolved. For example on arrears, we have managed to clear them,” Ghambi said.
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