May 18, 2021

Teachers’ resumes strike amid Government delaying tactics

Teachers’ under the banner, Concerned Teachers’ of Malawi, have penned the Teachers’ Union of Malawi [TUM] to remind the government that the agreement timeframe to give them Covid-19 risk allowances, has elapsed which means the stay-away suspension has also ended, now they want TUM to call for the resumption of the stay-away.

The teachers’ are urging TUM to tell government that this second wave of stay away will be called off upon receiving allowances, saying this time they will not tolerate discussions but actions.

They mention they are acknowledging the great role TUM has played in the recent days for making sure that teachers  grievances are heard, as indeed TUM tried to do its job, but they have noted that the government has started delaying tactics.

In a letter to TUM President, dated 20th March, 2021 with copies to all their regional representatives signed by Secretary General, Aziz Losa and Vice Co-chairperson, Alinafe Banda, the teachers’ say they understand that the government and TUM signed an agreement in which both parties agreed that teachers are going to receive personal protective equipment allowances, among the agreed terms with a timeframe which has already elapsed in the just ended week on Tuesday 16th March, 2021.

…”We promise to be very active in observing every step taken by the government and TUM in responding to our concerns, we are the Civil servants and NOT civil slaves, Enough is enough…,’’ reads part of the letter to TUM.

In the statement of TUM announcing the suspension of teachers’ stay away dated 9th March 2021, TUM made it clear that once government through the Ministry of Education starts implementing the agreed resolution, TUM will completely call off the industrial action.

Its President, Willy Malimba, was quoted in the media expressing hope that government will give its response on how much money each teacher will be given by Tuesday 16th March, 2021 but to this day, government has not responded.

However, Minister of Education, Hon. Agnes NyaLonje MP was quoted in the media having told Parliament in the just ended week that it is not proper this time around to give teachers risk allowances, this news was aired in one of the local radio station.

And in other media reports of Tuesday, 16th March 2021, the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 turned down TUM and the joint Parliamentary Committees of Education, social and Community Affairs declaration on personal protective equipment allowances.

By Vincent Gunde

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