Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE—Some primary school teachers in Blantyre have defied Teachers Union of Malawi’s (TUM) order not to join the public officer’s strike, and have since resolved to stop teaching starting from Monday, February 18, 2013.
Civil servants downed tools last week to push for salary increments, harmonization of salaries and improvement of conditions of service.
TUM ordered all teachers not to be part of the stay-away, but teachers from Blantyre, calling themselves concerned teachers, argues that they are subjected to poor salaries and the high cost of living is also “tormenting and biting them ruthless just like any other civil servant.”
Chairperson of the concerned primary teachers, Innocent Banda faulted TUM for making such an order when it knows that teachers are receiving meager salaries.
He therefore urged all teachers stop teaching to press for better packages from government.
Banda conceded that their decision would affect students preparing for primary school leaving certificate of education examinations, but quickly said government “should immediately address our concerns to avoid confusion among students.”
“Teachers are just like civil servants; then why should TUM prevent them from joining the strike when teacher’s salaries are just peanuts? We are urging all concerned teachers to join the strike from this Monday. Government should immediately respond to our grievances to avoid confusion especially standard eight pupils,” added Banda.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013