Teachers in the country have warned that they will hold a nationwide strike if government continues to subject them to poor working conditions.
This has been revealed in a letter by Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) released on Tuesday, April 19 and addressed to principal secretary in the ministry of education.
According to the letter which has been signed by Tum president Chauluka Muwake, secretary general Denis Kalekeni, and treasure Island Mtambo, the teachers will hold a strike from Monday May 9 if government does not resolve their grievances.
The teachers – both primary and secondary school teachers – say they first raised their grievances through the ministry of education on March 17 this year.
Among the issues raised, TUM has cited failure by government to raise salaries of teachers who were promoted to Grade TJ (PT2) in 2013.
TUM has also expressed concern that teachers who got promoted in 2013 were forced to use their own transport in order to report at their new workplaces.
“To expect the teachers to transport themselves is totally inhuman and unacceptable by all teachers. We therefore demand that the teachers be provided with transport and award them their hard earned promotion or promote them while working in their initial schools as you grapple with their transport logistics,” reads part of the letter.
In addition, the body has asked the government to consider secondary school teachers’ leave grants for fiscal year 2015/16 as well as the long outstanding issue of their salary arrears which has not yet been resolved for years.
The union has also demanded government to pay March 2015 salaries to teachers who were erroneously omitted.
TUM says there has been no visible action yet on the matter even though the body has been trying to rectify the problem.
Meanwhile, TUM has advised government to get ready for the strike which the union says will only call off if their grievances are heard.