Teachers threaten to hold demos over unpaid salary arrears

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Some teachers from Blantyre rural and urban who were promoted in 2010 have threatened that they will hold demonstrations should the Malawi government continue holding their salary arrears by December 3, 2012.

In a letter dated November 7, the concerned teachers who are 111 in total have rated as “unfortunate” the delay by Ministry of Education to give them their salary arrears for close to a year now.

The said demonstrations, according to the letter will be followed by a sit-in should the ministry fail to comply with their demands.

According to the letter, the concerned teachers wrote their District Education Managers claiming salary arrears soon after their salaries were adjusted to match their new professional grades.

The teachers claim the ministry through a circular promised to release the arrears in December 2011 or January 2012, which it did not fulfil.

In total the arrears amounts K 6 million.

“We have become victims of our own patience,” reads part of the letter which further says “should the ministry fail to meet our demands by December 3, 2012, then we will have no option but hold demonstrations and a sit-in to follow.”

Reacting in an interview, Secretary for Education, Science and Technology Mr. John Bisika said the ministry is aware of the delay and that it is working tireless towards resolving the problem at hand.

“One of the reasons for the delayed to settle the arrears is that, the Education Ministry is waiting to be cleared by government auditors,” said Mr Bisika.

He said “the problem is not for Blantyre teachers only, but the whole nation”.

He however, had no immediate response to the concerns presented through the letter from the Blantyre teachers, saying his office had not yet been served with the letter.

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