May 18, 2021

TUM files Stay-Away Industrial Action Resumption

The Teachers Union of Malawi [TUM], has announced the resumption of countrywide industrial action in form of STAY AWAY on Tuesday, 6th April, 2021.

Tum says this is following the expiry of a-7 day notice of their intention to resume the industrial action if Government fails to pay Covid-19 risk allowances to public primary and secondary school teachers plus Teacher Training College Lecturers in Malawi.

In the statement dated 4th April, 2021, signed by its President, Willy Malimba, says the notice emanates from Government’s response through a letter from the Parliamentary Committee on Education of 24th March, 2021 which clearly indicated that the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus doesn’t support the resolution of providing teachers with the appropriate cash equivalent to personal protective equipment [PPEs] for a period of three [3] months which reads in part.

…”After considering the impact of the resolutions to provide teachers appropriate PPEs in Cash-Costed Package as once-off payment to cover the next 3 months bearing in mind,……..the Taskforce wishes to advise that it cannot support the resolution…’’

TUM is therefore warning Government that the STAY AWAY shall only be called off after all the public primary and secondary school teachers plus TTC Lecturers have been provided with appropriate PPEs in Cash-Costed Packages as a once-off payment covering 3 months.

The Concerned Teachers of Malawi [CTM] released its statement on 31st March, 2021 signed by its Secretary General, Azees Losa and Vice Co- Chairperson, Alinafe Banda, assuring all teachers in Malawi that they will follow what TUM is going to say on the Stay Away saying Government rejected giving teachers risk allowances by deceiving them to sign the document at the expense of going back to work.

The CTM warned Government that this Stay Away will not be just Stay Away, but it will be Stay far Away, demanding Government to consider giving deserved teachers house allowance as most of them do not live in school houses, paying teachers dust allowances, and  give teachers soft loans to ease some of the challenges.

The teachers are also demanding from Government to consider raising hardship allowance from K10,000.00 to K20,000.00 promoting all self-upgrading teachers and promote all teachers that have stayed at one grade for many years saying no teacher should retire at grade L describing this as inhuman.

The response by the Concerned Teachers of Malawi [CTM] came after a group calling itself Concerned Teachers released its statement without signatures dated 28th March, 2021 against the teachers Stay Away industrial action accusing TUM of not consulting teachers for the Stay Away.

Meanwhile, a secondary school teacher from Lilongwe Rural West, Mrs. Loveness Kalinda Banda, has asked teachers in Malawi to be vigilant in tracing some members hiding in the name of Concerned Teachers that have allegedly pocketed money from Government to fight teachers for their Stay Away.

Kalinda said it is not the intention of all teachers in Malawi to hold stay away but Government intention has forced them to go on strike, expressing hope that parents and guardians will join them to press Government to give them Covid-19 risk allowances.

…”We are demanding what is ours, the Taskforce which made a resolution on 13th July, 202o was not foolish and stupid to declare that teachers are at risk of Covid-19, we are not fighting government but we are demanding government to give us what was signed in the agreement…,’’said Kalinda.

The teacher is reminding government that many Malawians are angry with the way how the Tonse Government is running the country, skyrocketing of commodity prices, fuel hikes and increase in electricity tarrifs, saying this is not the Malawi wokomera tonse as promised.

By Vincent Gunde

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