It appears there is no end in sight to government-teachers disputes with the latest being a fresh cut-off date the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) has given their employer to settle their outstanding leave grants.
TUM general secretary Dennis Kalekeni said in an interview their patience was wearing out with government’s continued failure to honour their unresolved leave grants and have given a June 30 deadline.
He said the June 30 deadline is the last day of government’s 2014/2015 fiscal year.
Kalekeni said government owes teachers about K2.4 billion dating back to 2013/14.
He said: “We have given government enough time to settle our dues because we do not want to engage in an industrial action. We have tried to operate within the law, but if nothing is done by the said date, our next course of action will be nationwide stay away.”
Despite being employees of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, primary school teachers’ leave grants are paid by the Ministry of Local Government through the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC).
While confirming knowledge of the June 30 ultimatum, Ministry of Education spokesperson Manfred Ndovi said yesterday, Treasury had already released to NLGFC about K2.5 billion to pay all the teachers.
Said Ndovi: “The ministry is currently engaged in meetings with the NLGFC to expedite payment of the leave grants and we are hopeful that come end April all teachers will have been paid their current leave grants plus arrears. In May, we will just be dealing with those that may have been skipped.”