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Tum calls off strike

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Teachers are expected to resume work today after government and Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) lawyers met at the Industrial Relations Court sitting in Lilongwe, where they signed a consent order paving the way for negotiations.

They further agreed that the government’s application for the injunction against teachers’ strike be put on hold.

Primary, secondary school teachers and teacher training college lecturers in government facilities have been withholding their services to force the government to pay them the cash-equivalent of Covid personal protective equipment.

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Tum lawyer Madalitso Kausi said, having gone through documents to appreciate what has transpired from the start of the case, Tum saw it fit that the two sides should negotiate.

“We should not begin to fight on issues of legality or the illegality of the injunction now; there are real issues we want to address.

“So, we should postpone this matter to give room for negotiations because proceeding with the injunction would mean starting to deal with the question of whether the injunction was legal,” Kausi said.

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Meanwhile, Tum President Willie Malimba has called on teachers to resume work, but stressed that the suspension was temporary.

He indicated that Tum was sure that something tangible would come from the government out of the negotiations the two sides have been having and will continue having.

“That is why we are saying we are just suspending [the strike]; we are just giving negotiations a chance. I am sure that the negotiations will not fail this time,” Malimba said.

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