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Teachers demand leave grants by March

Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) has given Treasury a deadline of March 2017 to pay primary and secondary teachers 2016/2017 leave grants.

In a letter dated January 20 2016 addressing Secretary for Treasury, Tum Secretary General Dennis Kalekeni has said teachers from both primary and secondary schools have not yet been paid their leave grants as funding for the same has not yet been done.

Kalekeni said the Union has noted that the tendency of paying teachers’ leave grant up to June, which is the last month of the fiscal year, has always caused challenges to teachers who are erroneously omitted during the initial payment.

“It is in this regard that we request your able office to provide the necessary funding for the said leave grants so that payment of the same could be done by March 2017,” part of the letter reads.

The letter further says the union has decided to set the date following another observation that every year funding for leave grants is released after pressure from the teachers’ body.

“You may wish to appreciate Sir, that almost every year, funding of Leave Grant for teachers has been done upon threats of industrial action by the Teachers Union of Malawi, which in our view is not appropriate. It is within the interest of Teachers Union of Malawi that this fiscal year’s leave grant for teachers should be paid without reaching such levels,” he said

Spokesperson for Treasury, Alfred Kutengule, said it was an anomaly for Tum to make such a request direct to the Treasury as they have to pass through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST).

Kutengule said if MoEST sends the request to Treasury, they will work on it.

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