Teachers have today begun a sit in to force Malawi government to pay them their 2016/2017 leave grants.
According to a statement issued by Secondary School Teachers Union of Malawi (SESTUM) and signed by its Acting President Pilirani Kapoloma, teachers in the country are yet to get their leave grants hence calling for the sit in.
“Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) TUM in its circular noted with dismay that up to now as the fiscal year 2016/2017 is coming to an end, all primary teachers and some secondary school teachers have not received their leave grants,” reads the statement.
According to the statement, SESTUM has thought it wise to join the entire teachers’ community as a way of forcing government to positively respond to their grievances.
“SESTUM through its leadership recognizes the grievances in the TUM circular and recommends that secondary school teachers join their colleagues in sit in to start on Monday June 5, 2017,” reads the statement.
SESTUM has further asked some teachers who received their leave grants to join their colleagues to show oneness and not to listen to anyone calling off the sit in apart from TUM representatives,” reads the statement.
The statement has urged teachers not to fear anyone because they are exercising their freedom of expression.
“Teachers have the right to freedom of expression as stipulated in the Malawi’s constitution, Chapter IV (35). All teachers that will be tortured in one way or the other during this sit in, should report to TUM immediately for action. Remember united we stand,” adds the statement.
In another statement, TUM through its National Executive Committee said the decision to stage the strike has come after failure of governments to pay the teachers.
According to TUM, government said it would pay the leave grants in December 2016 but extended to April 2017 and in a recent communication also extended to May 2017.