Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) says all teachers in the country’s public primary schools, secondary schools and lecturers in Teacher Training Colleges will hold a nationwide strike next month.
This is according to a TUM letter addressed to Secretary for Education, Science and Technology and the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government dated June 18th and signed by TUM’s president Willie Malimba, secretary general Charles Kumchenga and treasure general Ernest Chirwa.
TUM says the sit-in is planned to start on 9th July 2018 and shall be called off by TUM upon full payment of arrears to all deserving teachers and lecturers in the public schools and colleges.
The body says it has done its part to ensure that issues of arrears should be sorted out without any industrial action but government has taken it for granted.
TUM further adds that it has been engaging government in particular local government, Ministry of Education in meetings and they have been communicating through letters and phone calls but no tangible results are coming out.
“All these years government has been talking of auditing as a scapegoat and TUM is tired of being cheated. Most of these arrears were accrued three/four years ago and would have been paid to teachers some time back.
Surprisingly, even those districts said to have been audited by Auditor General are not paying arrears. This is clear evidence that there is negligence and lack of seriousness in the government system. Teachers now have started feeling pains of devolution/ decentralization,” reads part of TUM letter.
It is reported that the decision to take industrial action was arrived at during TUM’s National Executive committee meetings held in Lilongwe.
The meetings were attended by delegates from all the 34 education districts.