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Teachers cry foul over new salaries

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Benedicto Kondowe

About 1,500 teachers who were promoted from Grade L and K to J and others from J to I in March this year are yet to start getting their new salaries, The Daily Times has learnt.

Reports indicate that 90 percent of the teachers were promoted from primary school to secondary level, whereas 10 percent were promoted within secondary schools.

One of the teachers, who did not want to be mentioned, confided in us that, upon checking their payslips in April and May, they discovered that the new pay was not reflected.

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“I am among the teachers who were promoted in March this year. Since my promotion, I am still getting the salary I used to get before my promotion.

“This has negatively affected my life, especially after I spent some money on relocation costs such as transport and labour,” he said.

Another teacher, female, corroborated the sentiments.

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“I relocated to a new location in the hope that, because I would get a salary increment, I would be able to make ends meet.

“Sadly, this has not been the case since the new salary is nowhere to be seen,” she said.

However, Ministry of Education spokesperson Chikondi Chimala said they were disappointed that some teachers have not even reported for work while others only reported for work but have not started discharging their services.

“However, the issue of getting a new salary is a multi-office responsibility starting with their work stations, Education division offices, the ministry, DHRMD [Department of Human Resource Management and Development], where the expectation is that all due process must be followed to ensure that they get their new salaries,” Chimala said.

He said processes are being followed to ensure that every teacher can get their dues at the right time.

“For the two months of April and May, they will get the arrears. You will agree with me that government has to be meticulous and follow all due processes to avoid any mishaps,” Chimala said.

“As seasoned public servants, the teachers are well aware of the processes and the ministry has thoroughly briefed them in this regard, hence it is very surprising [that] they would feign ignorance or allege that nothing is being done in that regard,” he added.

Meanwhile, quality education advocate Benedicto Kondowe has bemoaned the development, saying failure to expeditiously and promptly effect salary adjustment is an indication of broken systems.

“This does not only demotivate teachers but it does also portray that the said promotions were a stage show. In an ideal situation, teachers promoted needed to receive their adjusted salaries as soon as they were promoted because promotion is a by-product of planning.

“Again, there are economic implications to the delays. This, in my view, is a heavy-loaded demeaning of the teaching profession by government. This will affect quality delivery in the education sector both in the medium and long terms,” he said.

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