MCTU Supports Teachers’ Sit-in, Calls On Govt. to Revisit Paying Mechanism
The Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) has called on government to revisit and expedite review of the public service paying mechanism in order to deal with bottlenecks and challenges to do with salaries wrangles, especially among teachers.
MCTU Secretary General, Denis Kalekeni, said on Tuesday government should have, by now, rectified payment issues. He observed that failure to pay teachers their December salaries contradicts provisions of the Labor Relations Act.
“It means government has failed to provide a conducive environment for teachers. The labour relations act clearly stipulates on factors such as salaries that are basic for teachers' working environment,” said Kalekeni adding “As MCTU, we give the teachers our full support. Their reasons for striking are not only valid, but also legal”.
Kalekeni said MCTU is in support of the teachers' sit-in, assuring them ‘not to fear’.
“We are here to tell them not to be afraid because sometimes there are intimidation that comes from employers.
“And also asking government why they are not giving them salaries yet we are providing services. Is it that teachers are too many? Is it their system? Or is it their paying mechanism,” he wondered.
Secretary General of Teachers Union of Malawi, Charles Kumchenga, said teachers have lost trust in government because they have been lied to without end.
“For instance we have had assurances times without number already. We had once over the weekend but came Monday, another lie followed. This one is the last, if they don't give us the salaries, our next action is marching to the accountant general's office and camp there,” Kumchedwa said.
Meanwhile, the teachers' sit-in has indefinitely halted learning in most public primary and secondary schools across the country, with learners in Lilongwe, Dowa and other districts taking to the streets and turning violent.
There was no ending in site for the sit-in as government pledge to pay the teachers by close of business Tuesday was not met.