May 18, 2021

Stay-Away Teachers to Receive no April Salaries

Reports circulating on various social media platforms are indicating that teachers who are on industrial stay-away will not be paid their April 2021 salaries if they do not report to work on Monday, 12th April 2021.

The report has coincided with media reports that Government has stopped deducting teachers K500.00 every month as individual membership on behalf of the Teachers Union of Malawi [TUM] saying Government will give this money back to the owners and it will be up to them whether to give it to TUM.

According to reports, there has never been any audit enquiry on this money, TUM proving not to be accountable that every member by virtue of joining the teaching profession either signing the membership form or not, Government was deducting K500s as monthly contribution to TUM.

 There is an anonymous letter circulating on social media by the Teachers of Malawi addressed to President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, noting with great concern that Government has decided to torture teachers by destroying their Union, reminding Government that the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi guarantee teachers have a right to form a Union.

The teachers say as Government is giving out the K500s it has been collecting on behalf of TUM, it should refund all monthly deductions in the name of Pension Scheme, refund the amounts with interests of the teachers choice and compensate every teacher involved in these deductions.

…”Remember, we are also Malawians who voted your Government into power, we are also parents who were with you during demonstrations for a positive change, and not change with greedy minds…,’’ reads part of the teachers writing on the wall.

The Teachers have since given President Dr. Chakwera 48 hours to give them what is theirs before Government starts deducting without their approval, saying they are the teachers of the soil.

On Thursday, Government through the Attorney General filed in the Industrial Relations Court [IRC] seeking the Teachers Union of Malawi [TUM] to give its responses in 48 hours, hear TUM before granting the injunction refraining teachers from staging Stay Away.

Malawi Human Rights Consultative Committee [MHRRC] Chairperson, Robert Mkwezalamba, has warned Government to tread carefully with the ongoing teachers Stay Away for an injunction saying this has a potential to derail the ongoing discussions between Government and TUM.

Mkwezalamba asked Government to address the teachers concerns and grievances through the two parties currently working to resolve the issue of teachers risk allowances in form Cash-Costed Package for a period of three [3] months.

Meanwhile, the Industrial Relations Court [IRC] will on Monday 12th April, 2021continueto hear an inter-party hearing between Government and TUM on the teachers Stay Away from the adjournment of Friday, 9th April, 2021.

By Vincent Gunde

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