Promoted teachers spend two years without pay hike
Over two years after some teachers were promoted to the level of Senior Primary School Teachers (PT3) by the Joyce Banda administration, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is yet to effect salary adjustments for the promoted teachers.
The concerned teachers attended the Teaching Service Commission administered promotion interviews in March, 2013 and were given letters of promotion in November 2014 with the promotion backdated to December 2013.
According to the letter of promotion dated October 23, 2014 that one of the concerned teachers received, the teachers were supposed to start drawing salaries within the new salary scale segments from the date of promotion.
“I am pleased to inform you that on the direction of the Teaching Service Commission, you have been promoted to the post of Senior Primary School Teacher (PT3) (Grade TK) with effect from 12th December, 2013.
“In accordance with the Malawi Civil Service salary structure you will be eligible for an initial salary of K720, 720.00 per annum within the salary scale segment of K720, 720.00 to K840,720.00 per annum which you will commence to draw from the date of your promotion,” the promotion letter which a Mrs E.R. Mongora signed reads in part.
The letter said the incremental date remains unchanged and their next increment would be due on December 1, 2015.
“May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your promotion, notification of which will soon be published in the Government Gazette,” the letter reads.
A Blantyre city based teacher, who did not want to be named, said their efforts to engage the Ministry through both district education offices and Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) have proved futile.
“We have tried our best to fight to no avail. We even had a meeting with Tum officials a month or two ago but their explanation failed to convince us. It is not our wish to stay away from classes, but if the worse comes to the worst, we will be forced to act for the sake of our welfare. We feel shortchanged and betrayed.
“When we go to Blantyre district education office and present our case, some officials tell us to wait for the death of some teachers for us to be promoted and our salaries to be adjusted,” the teacher said.
The teacher also said some teachers who were promoted to the level of Principal Primary School Teachers (PT2), are also facing the same calamity.
Tum Secretary General, Dennis Kalekeni, said at first, the ministry told the union that they were failing to adjust the salaries of the said teachers because there were no vacancies for such teachers to fill then.
According to Kalekeni, after sometime, the ministry confirmed that the vacancies were found and claimed that all the teachers who received promotional letters had their salaries adjusted.
“It is, therefore, our duty, as teachers to present to the ministry our letters of promotion as evidence. So, we have told all the teachers who were issued with promotional letters to submit such letters through Tum, to avoid them [Ministry of Education officials] cheating us that they did not receive the letters. Tum will take those letters straight to the headquarters and ensure that the salaries of those teachers are adjusted,” Kalekeni said.
Spokesperson in the ministry, Manfred Ndovi, said for a promotion to be effected a concerned officer is expected to accept it.
“Normally when we are promoting them, we promote them to the place where the vacancy for that grade is available. So, they have to move to that other school if their promotion is to be effected. Promotion is an offer and if you don’t accept it there can be no salary adjustments. You may have a letter of promotion but if you don’t report to the proposed school your salary cannot be adjusted,” Ndovi said.
He also said the promotion can be withdrawn if a person fails to report to a work station within 90 days, but some can be accommodated beyond this timeframe depending on circumstances.